FAQ: What to Know About Apple Slowing Down iPhones to Prevent Unexpected Shutdowns

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. EdT macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2007
    Omaha, NE
    The design issue is that people wanted-or Apple thought they wanted- really thin phones. Thinner phones means smaller, less capacity batteries. From others on this thread evidently it also means lower quality, but I haven’t heard that before and I am not knowledgeable about different battery manufacturers so I can’t comment on that. But I do think a lot of design decisions were made based upon looks rather than practicality.

    But I don’t think Apple was intentionally trying to cripple phones to force customers to buy new phones. In a company where people join and leave every month, policy descisions like this are hard to to keep secret since a fair number of mid level people would either be in on the secrete or know enough background to figure it out. And someone would talk, at least anonymously. Over a period of months, you can keep a secret among more than 3 people truly secret provided all but 1 of them are dead.
  2. Kmart9419 macrumors regular

    May 4, 2011
    The old Steve Jobs Apple would had apologized, gave you a full refund, and a free product on the house. The Cook's Apple insults your intelligence and makes you pay for their mistakes.
  3. sigsegv macrumors newbie


    Nov 17, 2012
    San Francisco
    Really good question. In my family we have a 5s, 6, 6s, and 7 so I have been able to compare. All phones were on original batteries at the time I started this comparison, so the 5s battery was oldest and most used.

    Answer: the 5s outperformed the 6 by about 30%, until I replaced the battery on the 6 - then the 6 was about 20% faster than the 5s.

    So I would rephrase the question as follows:
    1. Why is phone with a newer, faster, more energy efficient processor slower than an older phone with older, less energy efficient processor and an older battery.
    2. Why doesn't the 5s need this performance throttling? 5s has a less energy efficient processor and a smaller battery!
    The fact that this problem has required aggressive CPU throttling to fix strongly indicates that this is an engineering design failure in battery management or processor power delivery. It's a design failure because Apple clearly failed to incorporate sufficient design margins in the BMS, and obviously failed to test battery aging and internal resistance degradation (yes this can modeled, and tested. Li-Ion aging characteristics are well known)

    To argue that this is not a design failure would mean that Apple knew about this from the start. That is even worse!

    When Apple launched the iPhone 6 they did not say "25% faster than a 5s - but only while the battery is new, later we will throttle back to 30% slower than the 5s"

    Imagine if Tesla had to cut engine performance by 50% on all cars older than 2 years - there would be huge outcry from owners, and lawsuits would be entirely justifiable. This would obviously be regarded as a huge engineering failure.
  4. robertcoogan macrumors 6502


    Apr 5, 2008
    Joshua Tree, California
    Ok...that's not really a reason. Making money is not an excuse for the current battery/throttling issue. They certainly had - at the very least - an obligation to tell their customers that this was going on, and give them a choice. And yes, I definately would have kept my old phone if all I had to do was replace the battery. Please.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 3, 2018 ---
  5. PeaceMonger Suspended


    Nov 27, 2017
    Proof is new.
  6. actcyclist macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2017
    I bought an iPhone SE for $AU700 in April 2016.
    After heavy use it slowed down considerably a year later.
    I sold it for AU$280 in October 2017 and bought an iPhone 8 for AU$940.
    If I knew I could spend AU$39 instead of buying a new device, I would have preferred that and saved a lot money. I feel Apple mislead me into upgrading and their lack of response to this is making it worse, not better.
  7. Kmart9419 macrumors regular

    May 4, 2011
    That's the fishy thing. Throttling starts way before battery degrades. Throttling in the 80s and 90s insane. If phone shuts down in those percentage ranges, then the battery is defective.
  8. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 65816

    Jul 15, 2006
    LOL this is hilariously incorrect. Steve Jobs apple apologized and gave out a $29 bumper case.
  9. mi7chy, Jan 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018

    mi7chy macrumors 601


    Oct 24, 2014
    Other phone manufacturers use larger capacity and/or higher quality batteries that mitigate the battery defects Apple are facing. As for the iPhone 4 and 4S, that was when Apple used higher quality components before the logistics mastermind Tim Cook took over with driving down cost to increase profit at the expense of quality.

    As for Galaxy Note 7, Samsung F'd up using outside battery source, Amperex, that also had battery swelling issues on iPhone 8 series. Difference is Samsung admitted the fault and refunded instead of covering it up.

  10. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    It's like Apple making a car, and selecting a small engine to take up minimal spaces that's just enough, when the engine is new and running perfect to power the car.
    But the Engine is not really build well enough, with enough spare power to last that long under normal driving conditions, so after a year, it's showing signs of wear and tear, so they limit the engine output to protect things.

    You could of course fit a larger engine in the 1st place, so the care will run at peak performance for longer.

    But would Apple want that?

    After all, it could cost Apple an extra $10 in a $1000 device
  11. trifid macrumors 65816


    May 10, 2011
    Excellent questions actually. By the way, why doesn't Macrumors report on that? Instead they buy into Apple's spin and try to downplay the severity of the issue.
  12. hwhitney macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2017
    For what it's worth, my wife and I still have a pair of 4S's, coming up on six years old (planning on getting a couple of X's in the near future). My phone constantly shuts itself off/restarts if it is doing anything mildly intensive and/or the charge is somewhat low. It's also extremely slow in doing even simple tasks half the time - again, mostly if the battery is below 50% or so, which happens pretty quickly since it can't seem to keep a charge for long either. My wife's phone doesn't shut itself off nearly as often, but it is also extremely slow to the point where she is unable to open a website link from the facebook app. These phones were updated to the latest ios version supported - 9.3.5.
  13. Kmart9419 macrumors regular

    May 4, 2011
    I was referring to the previous poster whose battery was replaced in November and was denied a refund of the difference. Apple should had made an exception for him since he was so close to the $29 offer. Something simple like that will go a long way in goodwill.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 3, 2018 ---
    Shutdowns should be expected in a 6 year old phone. Surprised battery runs at all. Common sense says it up to you to replace the offending battery. Apple has no business getting involved with throttling.
  14. gnipgnop macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2009
    You just debunked it yourself in the first sentence. If CPU speeds aren't constant, how can you make a comparison using that app? There's no way of knowing if you're actually measuring voltage related throttling or not.
  15. dantroline macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2016
    Yeah, I've decided it's easier to leave the phone plugged into power the entire time and rearrange my life so that I am always within 10 feet of the phone. </sarcasm>

    Doesn't matter how many ways people try to paint the pig, it's still a pig! Apple should stop trying to wiggle out of everything and just come clean and sort this mess out. I bought into the Apple ecosystem because actual fans told me the how awesome the products are and how great the company treats its customers. Maybe that was in the past but obviously not anymore!
  16. ipooed macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2014
    last MR article I read, Guess they are worried their Apple invites may get lost in the mail if they sided with the average user. we want to see a picture of the editor/editors that published this article so we can see which shade of brown their noses are.
  17. twistedpixel8 macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2017
    Yeah sorry Apple/MR, but I’m just not buying that this is “minor” throttling at “peak” power. There’s something else going on that Apple isn’t sharing and it will come out eventually. Really wouldn’t surprise me if it came out that they are slowing down older phones deliberately. “Oh we weren’t lying. We aren’t slowing down older phones, we are just deliberately creating horribly unoptimized software that runs great on the latest chips but older chips can’t keep up. Haven’t you noticed that even basic animations can’t run well on phones from 2 years ago? We’re very clever.”
  18. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Well, if you guys want to look back on MR it was another one of those threads full of hysterics not all that long ago. The shutdowns were real, and the cold was a major factor (lithium batteries don’t handle cold well).
  19. gnipgnop macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2009
    What percentage of active users does 5s represent worldwide? In April of 2017 it was around 12%. By comparison, both models of 6 and 6s represented a combined 56% of iPhones still active. Educated guess is that it's largely a matter of priority right now, since limitations with lithium ion technology don't actually change. Plus, extending the battery deal to the 6 (which isn't being sold anymore) is probably about as far as it would make sense for Apple to go. 5s is just an outdated model now.
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    By all means, provide the technical data supporting your claims.

    Or you can just continue the conspiracy nonsense, up to you.
  21. Kmart9419 macrumors regular

    May 4, 2011
  22. Konceptz804 macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2017
    Correction, Desktop CPUs with power savings disabled (overclocking) run at max speed 24/7........
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    What’s your point? Did you expect Apple to break the laws of physics for you?

    You either get a shutdown or a slowdown when the battery can’t provide the power needed (most common in the cold).

    The slowdown was the result of fixing the shutdown problem, you can’t have both resolved after the fact. This is literally as either/or as you get.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 3, 2018 ---
    As long as something is taxing it to run at max speed. I’d be seriously concerned if your overclocked machine was running at max speed constantly just displaying your wallpaper...
  24. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Nov 10, 2008
    According to coconut battery, my iPhone 7 battery has a design capacity of 78% - 1535mAh. 418 cycles. Seems really bad for just over a year old. Geez.
  25. LV426 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2013
    Utterly false assertion. CPU throttling is implemented to prevent unwanted (and potentially dangerous) automatic shutdowns, not any effort to prolong battery life. If a phone is in the process of shutting itself down because it is using more juice than is available, the phone is NOT perfectly fine.

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