In a gift to tech writers desperate for some copy to fill an otherwise quiet news week in the run up to Christmas, Apple has broken with tradition and confirmed what every iPhone user already knows: new versions of IOS can slow down your iPhone.

As the non-replaceable battery of the iPhone degrades over time, the amount of power it can output reduces, and users may see sudden shutdowns when there seems to be a relatively large percentage of power left. To mitigate this, Apple reduces the clock speed of the CPU, thus relieving the pressure on the phone’s elderly battery. This ‘underclocking’ was introduced last year to the iPhone 6, 6S and SE and hit the 7 this month.

Thus, if your iPhone suddenly seems to slow down after an IOS update, the culprit may well be the amount of life left in your battery.

What has got the tech world all of a dither (and the Apple faithful having to wheel out the spin machines for the second time in a month after the Root fiasco) is the slightly underhand nature of this feature. With no indicator that something is amiss other than the phone running a bit slow, a user is likely to opt to get something new and shiny rather than invest in a battery replacement. Apple are very happy to spray IOS with nagware regarding iCloud, so adding a notification about battery life when this function kicks in does not seem out of the realm of the possible.

Apple and Android users alike should now break out the popcorn, and settle down to watch the inevitable lawsuits that will follow from aggrieved users feeling misled about handing a substantial wad of cash to Apple unnecessarily.

Credit to John Poole at Geekbench for bringing this to light.

Leave a Reply