Apple slows down old iPhones, study suggests

Image credit Carl Court  Getty

Image credit Carl Court Getty

Poole examined the issue by plotting performance scores across a variety of iPhone models.

However, according to data released by Geekbench, Apple does the opposite. Now Geekbench founder John Poole himself has made a decision to weigh in on the issue with his own research. When the iOS 10.2.1 was rolled out, the Cupertino-based tech firm said that the shutdowns were reduced on iPhone 6s by 80% and 70% on iPhone 6. The problem he found was that iPhones were slowing down as their battery life decreased, and the issue was widespread enough to affect even the iPhone 7. This includes allowing them to believe their phone needs to be replaced, rather than their battery. For those who remember, Apple had announced a battery replacement program for some of the iPhone 6s series devices because the battery in these phones was not up to standard and likely to degrade faster, though the company had said it did not cause any safety issues.

Some consider this a deliberate move by Apple to slow down older phones via iOS updates.

Geekbench says (via 9to5Mac) the fix, first introduced in iOS 10.2.1, creates an "unexpected state", where users are forced to draw their own conclusions from the performance shortfall. The graph shared by Poole, shows that under iOS 11 this fluctuation in scores is much more pronounced.

Users on Reddit discovered last week that shortly after replacing the battery on an old iPhone, benchmark tests, which measure a computer's processor speed, saw a dramatic and noticeable increase in performance. With iOS 10.2, 10.2.1 and 11.1.2, the iPhone 7 results show one large peak at the average maximum performance expected of the smartphone.

Geekbench findings, however, insist that Apple - in a bid to offer a seamless experience across the board - may have added as software feature that limits core performance of an iPhone and that the same would come into effect as and when its battery starts to age.

It's a question that comes up again and again because iPhone batteries aren't easy to replace, and a new report from a popular benchmarking app suggests the answer is yes. Geekbench also pointed out that due to this and the misconception about peak performance throughout the life of the device, users think that Apple intentionally slows down their devices as part of "planned obsolescence".

The RBC survey showed that 62% of respondents in China are interested in buying Apple's flagship iPhone X, compared with 28% of respondents in its US survey.

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