For some time now, iPhone users have noticed their expensive devices slowing down after nearly every update. Suspicion of Apple runs deep—users feels that Apple may be intentionally slowing down older devices in order to get people to upgrade.
Recently, Apple assured its user base that the slowdowns were intended to keep devices running smoothly and to offer the best user experience. But just how does slowing down people’s phones accomplish that?
Apple blames lithium-ion batteries in older iPhone models for the performance issues. Sometimes, when subjected to high energy loads, devices with the older batteries would shut down, becoming a fancy paperweight until the next charge. Apple, deeming these shutdowns unacceptable, decided to try and resolve the problem through iOS 10.2.1, which improved power management with the side effect of decreased performance in certain cases.
In any case, Apple maintains that they would never deliberately harm the user’s iPhone experience. Through the power management update, Apple resolved the much bigger problem of phones shutting down by slowing them down. Best of all, Apple says that performance should return to normal if the battery is replaced. And to regain the trust of people who weren’t clear about Apple’s intentions with the iPhone slowdowns, Apple recently reduced the price of replacing the battery on out-of-warranty phones from $79 to $29 on the iPhone 6 and later models.