Says it is to tackle ageing batteries
After many years of speculation, Apple has finally admitted that it does deliberately slow down some old models of the iPhone to protect the devices’ components.
Apple has now admitted that the slowing of the phone’s central processing unit (CPU) does take place, although not to force consumers to upgrade their devices. This act of slowing down a computer processor is called “downclocking” or “underclocking”.
The feature was reportedly implemented on the iPhone 6, 6S and SE last year during a software update, and on the iPhone 7 as of December with the release of iOS 11.2. The feature is planned to be rolled out to newer devices in the future.
The clarification came after a consumer watchdog sparked an outcry after it found that processing power of older models is limited once battery life begins to suffer. Toronto-based technology website Geekbench then analysed several iPhones running different versions of the iOS operating system and found some of them did indeed appear to have been deliberately slowed down.
Apple has now clarified that as the batteries age, lithium-ion batteries used in its phones become less able to provide the top levels of electrical current needed.
The problems with peak current draws especially occur when batteries are cold or low on charge – “which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components”, Apple added.