While it’s already been concluded that Apple does not intentionally slow down older iPhones, a developing new thread which surfaced over the weekend on Reddit appears to reignite the controversial — albeit empirically-debunked — argument.
According to user TeckFire, original author of the now 500-comment strong discussion thread, their iPhone 6s “has been very slow these past few weeks” (specifically after updating to iOS 11.)
Ultimately, the Redditor claims, they decided to conduct independent research using GeekBench and “various battery life apps,” which in turn led them to replace the battery, altogether, after its deteriorating performance was discovered.
Old Battery Performance
“Wear level was somewhere around 20% on my old battery,” TeckFire said, noting that “I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single and 2512 Multi.” Performance scores were unchanged regardless of what low power battery settings were instated, the user noted.
New Battery Performance
After physically swapping out the device’s battery with a fresh Li-Ion pack, TeckFire performed another test which shockingly churned out single- and multi-core scores of 2526 and 4456, respectively.
“From what I can tell, Apple slows down phones when their battery gets too low, so you can still have a full days charge,” TeckFire concluded.
Truth or Controversy
Having since attracted the interest of thousands among the Reddit community, the growing thread has inherently reignited speculation over whether Apple slows down older iPhones to “improve battery performance.”
Back in 2016, the company announced a repair program for iPhone 6s owners who’d been experiencing spontaneous shut downs. In a “very small” number of cases, Apple offered free battery replacements to select users after “a manufacturing issue” was determined to be the cause of the issue. Less than two months later, Apple released its iOS 10.2.1 software update which was said to not only result in an 80 percent reduction in unexpected iPhone 6s shut downs, but also a 70 percent reduction in the issue on iPhone 6.
At the time, Apple said the update was intended to fix a more “widely reported issue” caused by “uneven power delivery from older batteries,” suggesting these inherent problems were unrelated. However the Reddit thread from this weekend has set off a new wave of speculation challenging that conclusion — and that it’s more likely, users believe, Apple’s fix involved “dynamically throttling the phones’ maximum clock speeds relative to battery output,” which would supposedly prevent them from drawing too much power and shutting down.
In all fairness, we’ve heard that iPhone 6 performance can be bolstered via routine battery replacement — however the suggestion that Apple, for whatever reason, sabotages its own devices is still bound to become a hot button conspiracy until the company provides clarification.