Technology

Why Apple Is Deliberately Slowing Down Older iPhones?

With at least the past few generations, many users have sworn that their iPhone slows down suddenly – often soon after a new phone releases. While many wondered whether it was all in their head, a recent report explains why Apple is slowing down older iPhones.

Apple Is Slowing Down Older iPhones
Image Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

Apple Is Slowing Down Older iPhones

Around the time of a new iPhone release, web searches for terms like “iPhone slow” spike exponentially. It turns out that it’s not exactly a coincidence, and that it’s true that Apple is slowing down older iPhones.

The news broke last week after Apple released an iPhone software upgrade, and subsequently confirmed a slow down of older models. While many cynics claim that Apple is slowing down older iPhones in a sort of planned obsolescence to drive up sales of their latest flagships, the tech giant did explain their reasoning behind the slow down.

Apparently, Apple is slowing down older iPhones in order to protect aging batteries. As with any lithium-ion battery, the iPhone power capacity drains over time and with repeated charging. After a few hundred cycles, Apple claims that the battery is no longer functioning optimally and has taken to slowing down phones in response. The company has stated that the iPhone slow down is a safety precaution, resulting in less crashing and errors with the tradeoff of decreased performance.

Considering it has now been confirmed that Apple is slowing down older iPhones, the situation begs the question of why exactly Apple was so secretive about the iOS slow down. It’s clear that this planned reduction in battery life and speed has been implemented for several generations at this point – if the slow down is truly in the user’s best interest, why didn’t Apple let customers know rather than leaving them in the dark?

Planned Obsolescence?

While it may seem cynical to suggest that Apple is slowing down older iPhones in an effort to move customers onto the latest and greatest flagship, the fact remains that planned obsolescence is a major factor in many industries – and smartphone manufacturers are no exception. With companies like Apple and Samsung releasing a flagship on a yearly schedule, there’s needs to be a convincing reason for users to upgrade. While innovative new features like Apple’s Face ID are enough to draw a large amount of people over to the iPhone X, the fact remains that not every release can be such a major step forward. By making phones slow down every couple of years, Apple’s sales skyrocket as users get frustrated with a slower device.

It’s definitely possible that Apple is slowing down older iPhones for altruistic reasons, but the fact remains that they’re a business trying to maximize profits. There may be some truth to their statements, but consumers are not convinced that the slow down has happened with their best interests in mind.

While Apple has always been a major player in the smartphone scene since the original release of the iPhone, hype and a loyal fan base can only get them so far. With recent reports of software giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter implicated in the Russian interference of the U.S. presidential election, the sheer power that these technology giants command has become readily apparent. Apple is one of the largest companies in the world and they hold a significant portion of the smartphone market, but an increasingly informed customer base is getting tired of shady antics from companies that put profits far ahead of user experience.

iPhone 8
JESHOOTS / Pixabay

Trouble For Apple

It’s clear that many are upset the fact that Apple is slowing down older iPhones, and regulatory bodies in France are actually filing a lawsuit against the company – citing misleading iPhone sales dating all the way back to 2015. France is one of the few countries where planned obsolescence is explicitly illegal, so Apple may find themselves in hot water after this recent revelation. France isn’t the only country upset either, with Apple facing nine different class-action lawsuits in locations ranging from California to Israel. Apple is slowing down older iPhones, for better or for worse, and that decision may cost them millions in damages, free battery replacements, or even brand new phones.

While it has been suspected that Apple is slowing down older iPhones for quite some time, the confirmation only came to light last week. A Canadian company – Primate Labs – develops computer performance testing software, and they recently put their technology to the test. After the recent update, many users were complaining of slower performance, and Primate Labs has confirmed that Apple is slowing down older iPhones “to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point.”

A Potential Fix

If you find yourself with a slower iPhone, there may be a fix that is a lot less expensive than shelling out $1000 for the new iPhone X. As mentioned above, Apple claims that the slow down of older phones is to address the decreased capacity of the iPhone battery. It makes sense, then, that buying a new battery may fix the issue. Multiple users from around the web have reported that a fresh battery addresses the porblem. It’s possible to install a new battery on your own, but doing so will void Apple’s warranty. We recommend spending $79 for a new battery complete with installation by a certified Apple technician.

At the end of the day $79 is a small price to pay when compared to buying a whole new phone. The fact remains that Apple is slowing down older iPhones; whether that’s truly a necessity or a clever ploy to drive sales of each flagship is currently unclear. Whatever the reason, it’s obvious that those using iPhones are more than a little upset.

With how expensive luxury smartphones have become, it would be great if they lasted more than a couple of years. With yearly releases, however, manufacturers like Apple have a vested interest in convincing their users to upgrade. We hope in the future that they will use attractive new features like Face ID to warrant purchases rather than a shady slow down of older phones.

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