Apple Addresses Alleged Throttling of iPhones With Degraded Batteries

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Over the course of the last week, there's been speculation that Apple is throttling the performance of older iPhones with degraded batteries, leading to resurgence of accusations that Apple is deliberately slowing down older iPhones that aren't operating at peak battery performance.

    In a statement to TechCrunch on the results people are seeing when testing iPhones with older batteries, Apple says it is aiming to smooth out the high power draw peaks that can result in shutdowns and other problems in older devices to "deliver the best experience for customers."


    Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time by nature, and there's nothing Apple can do to halt the process, so it uses power management techniques to attempt to prolong the life of the iPhone and its battery. Apple isn't denying that iPhones with older batteries can sometimes see slower performance, but power management is not a feature that's been implemented to force users to upgrade by deliberately slowing devices.
    The throttling accusations first surfaced last week, after a Redditor shared Geekbench results taken before and after the battery in his iPhone 6s was replaced. He claimed that performance on his iPhone 6s sped up drastically after replacing a battery with a wear level "around 20%."

    Then, earlier this week, Primate Labs founder John Poole showed some aggregate Geekbench data that visualized a link between lower processor performance and degraded battery health. He compared iPhone 6s scores between iOS 10.2 and iOS 10.2.1, which showed variations in benchmarking scores following the update.


    Apple in iOS 10.2.1 introduced an update designed to fix a bug that was causing iPhone 6s models to shut down unexpectedly, a problem attributed to uneven power delivery from older batteries. Apple says this feature has been implemented for iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, and, as of iOS 11.2, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. It will be implemented in future iPhones going forward, too.

    It's this power management feature causing the benchmark variations John Poole found in Geekbench scores between iOS 10 updates last year. As explained by TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino:
    When an iPhone's battery ages, there may come a point when it can't provide the processor with enough power to reach a peak of power, and thus it spreads the requests out "over a few cycles," resulting in the peaks and perceived lower scores on benchmarking tests. As Panzarino points out, benchmarking tests are not reflective of real world usage and will artificially trigger the power management features in the iPhone.

    "In other words, you're always going to be triggering this when you run a benchmark, but you definitely will not always trigger this effect when you're using your iPhone like normal," writes Panzarino.

    Apple has clear battery replacement guidelines in place. The iPhone battery is designed to retain 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. A defective battery that does not meet those parameters can be replaced for free for customers who have AppleCare+ or who have devices still under warranty.

    For out of warranty customers, Apple offers a battery replacement service, with the company charging $79 for a battery replacement plus $6.95 in shipping.

    Apple's iPhones do send out a notification when a battery has degraded enough that it's going to impact performance, but it is "pretty conservative" according to Panzarino, and he recommends Apple make this notice more aggressive, in addition to providing customers with clearer information on the link between battery life and performance.

    Article Link: Apple Addresses Alleged Throttling of iPhones With Degraded Batteries
  2. riahi macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2013
    The part about "Apple offers battery replacement in stores" is not really true. I've gone twice to an Apple store to have them assess my battery. They refused to let me pay them to replace the battery because their diagnostics passed.

    I'm in the situation where Apple won't even let me pay to replace my battery even though I have random shut downs and blatant CPU throttling when below 50%.
  3. scrapesleon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2017
    replace the battery or go get a new phone simple as that
  4. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Once again, nothing untoward here, even though many chose to jump on the Apple conspiracy bandwagon.
  5. Vashetti macrumors regular


    Nov 17, 2015
    What's the best recommended app for testing battery health?
  6. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    So people are talking about Apple working to ensure their phone still works properly even when the battery wears down, as it inevitably will?

    That sounds like complaining for the sake of it.
  7. ArneK macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    So in other words: they are selling devices that after a couple of weeks deliver app. 50% of the promised power and call that a feature...
  8. JM macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2014
  9. theheadguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    Make it optional. B.S. that they aren’t excited it fuels sales. That’s absolutely a factor with their software changes.
  10. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Coconut Battery is a decent app. Ultimately, the only testing that will matter is the one that Apple uses.
  11. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    I had this happen with my 6S+ as well. Their diagnostic showed the battery was fine yet the battery would randomly drain and was just unpredictable. I had the battery replaced by a local shop who came to my house about 3 weeks ago and charged me $59. The phone is now like new again.
  12. asdavis10 macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2008
    The comments for this story should be good. There is going to be lots of rage for something that actually seems logical. All batteries degrade at some point. So you can't expect hardware that relies on the power from that battery to still function the same.
  13. daniesy macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2010
    So, why isn’t anyone suing?? I mean, if you read closely, every iPhone expires after one year.
  14. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    That not what the article states.
  15. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Doesn’t seem to be any real conspiracy as implied in other threads/blogs. My 6s did qualify for the battery replacement program and for that kudos to Apple.
  16. cale508 macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2015
    Make it easier for the end user to replace battery and people won't complain.
  17. rjtyork macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    Hmmmm I’m going to replace my screen and battery on my 6+ and see if that makes it useable again. I bought the 8+ since my 6+ is 3 years old and was getting to be way too slow.
  18. tridley68 macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    For out of warranty customers, Apple offers a battery replacement service, with the company charging $79 for a battery replacement plus $6.95 in shipping or you can upgrade your phone and sign another 2yr contract like Apple wants you to do or they would not be messing with it in the first place this stinks Apple and you should not be allowed to do this I think this could end up in a class action suit .
  19. citi macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2006
    Simi Valley, CA
    So take it to an aftermarket shop. It will cost you like 60-75$. I did that for my daughters phone and now it works like the day we bought it. No more random shutdowns.
  20. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
  21. Act3 macrumors 68000

    Sep 26, 2014
    That is complete BS. Why does CPUDasherX show reduced CPU frequency all the time with an old battery? Battery charged to 100%, my CPU speed was 911 mHZ before changing the battery.
  22. Nimrad macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2010
    Aah, the good ol' "it's not a bug, it's a feature".
  23. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Alternate reality headline:

    Greedy Apple displays popups scaring users into buying expensive battery replacements, rage ensues.
  24. tridley68 macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2014
    very well stated remember the good old days when I could do this on my Motorola phone and batteries were like $40
  25. givemeanapple, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017

    givemeanapple macrumors Demi-God


    Oct 2, 2016
    That's a very unique "feature" not shown in their magical Keynotes... sadly. /s #Performancegate
  26. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    So it seems that Apple rather have the phone slow down a bit than have it shut off completely.

    Im not sure how I feel about this, I think Apple has to give a notification to the user. The user may just think he/she needs a new phone as apposed to just a new battery for $79 or free.

Share This Page