Apple Addresses iPhone Battery Aging, Performance

Apple Addresses iPhone Battery Aging, Performance

Yesterday, Apple apologized for slowing older iPhones, promising users greater visibility into battery health in future OS updates and reducing battery replacement costs to $29 for eligible users.

While this eased some frustrations, the OS update will take time to roll out. Questions linger about the impact of Apple’s slowdown on device performance. Now, Apple has released another blog post providing detailed insight into battery aging and its impact on iPhone performance.

The post delves into iPhone battery technology, elucidating the impact of battery aging on device performance. Here’s what consumers need to know.

Reasons for iPhone Slowdown with Battery Degradation

Apple acknowledges that older iPhones slow down because aged batteries lack the necessary capacity to sustain the processor’s heightened power demands. Operating the processor at full throttle with degraded batteries can lead to sudden shutdowns.

“Low battery charge, advanced chemical aging, or cold temperatures increase the likelihood of unexpected shutdowns. In severe cases, this may render the device unreliable or inoperable.”

Over time, unexpected shutdowns might lead to device bricking.

“iOS 10.2.1 (Released January 2017) updates older iPhone models to prevent unexpected shutdowns. It introduces a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE to dynamically manage peak performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns.”

Per Apple, iOS updates enhance device power management by considering variables like temperature, battery charge, and impedance. Only when necessary, iOS dynamically adjusts CPU and GPU, potentially slowing the device. The extent of slowdown correlates with the intensity of power management.

Apple Addresses iPhone Battery Aging, Performance

In severe cases of power management, users may notice:

Effects of iPhone Slowdown

  • Delayed app launches
  • Reduced scrolling frame rates
  • Backlight dimming (overrideable in Control Center)
  • Up to -3dB decrease in speaker volume
  • Progressive frame rate reductions in select apps
  • During extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled in the camera UI
  • Background apps may require reloading upon launch

However, many key features remain unaffected by iPhone slowdown:

Features Unaffected By Slowdown

  • Cellular call quality and networking throughput
  • Photo and video quality
  • GPS performance and location accuracy
  • Sensors such as gyroscope, accelerometer, and barometer
  • Apple Pay functionality

If an iPhone’s battery degrades, which is common over time, most features including app launching, scrolling, frame rate, and background app refresh will suffer.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if Apple ever did this to my iPhone. I hate that they didn’t inform users about this from the beginning. Apple should have been clear about the power management feature, so users would have known they don’t need to upgrade their phone, just replace the battery.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below.