Apple iPhone Battery Controversy
Part of a series on iPhone. [View Related Entries]
PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!
You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.
Apple iPhone Battery Controversy refers to Apple's admission of slowing down various iPhone models to save battery life. The company statement seemed to confirm consumer belief that the smartphone manufacturer was purposely slowing phones down to force customers to buy new ones.
On Deceber 9th, 2017, Redditor TeckFire posted in the /r/iPhone subreddit, "PSA: iPhone slow? Try replacing your battery!" They wrote that after testing their iPhone 6S, they came to realize that replacing the battery increased the speed of the software. The post seemed to confirm that Apple was slowing phones down as they age and the batteries depreciate, which Apple customers had theorized for the past several years. Within two weeks, the post has received more than 4,100 points (95% upvoted) and 950 comments. TeckFire wrote:
"My iPhone 6S has been very slow these past few weeks, and even after updating multiple times, it was still slow. Couldn’t figure out why, but just thought that iOS 11 was still awful to me. Then I used my brother’s iPhone 6 Plus and his was… faster than mine? This is when I knew something was wrong. So, I did some research, and decided to replace my battery. Wear level was somewhere around 20% on my old battery. I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single and 2512 Multi. This did not change wether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my battery, I did another test to check if it was just a placebo. Nope. 2526 Single and 4456 Multi. From what I can tell, Apple slows down phones when their battery gets too low, so you can still have a full days charge. This also means your phone might be very slow for no discernible reason. Check your Geekbench scores and see what you get if your phone is still slow!
TL;DR Apple slows down phones with low capacity batteries, replacing it makes them full speed again. Check Geekbench Scores."
Less than two weeks later, Geekbench, a widely recognized consumer technology testing and scoring website, analyzed the claim. They found that the phones indeed were decreasing in processor speed to compensate for older batteries. They pointed to Redditor kadupse who explained the change in speed is due to an update in iOS. The change was put in place after customers reported issues of phones suddenly shutting down, Apple released a fix that would "scale down CPU performance" so that the batteries would need less voltage. This fixed the problem of shutdown, but ultimately slowed down phones.
On December 21st, Apple responded to the claims. They told TechCrunch in a statement that the company had, in fact, begun slowing down processors in iPhone 6, 6S, and 7s to solve the sudden shutdown problem. They wrote:
"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future."
On December 28th, 2017, Apple published a more in-depth response and apology on their website. In addition to explaining the lifecycle of a battery and the unexpected shutdowns, the company also offered a discounted battery replacements, from January 2018 to December 2018, which would cost $29. The company stated:
"We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.
"First and foremost, we have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that."
On December 21st, USA Today reported that two consumers had filed a class-action breach-of-contract lawsuit against Apple. The suits argued that customers never consented to Apple slowing down older iPhones. The following day, four consumers in Chicago filed a second law suit filed for $5 million. The second suit claimed that they were tricked into buying newer models because Apple told customers that they needed the latest iPhones for better speed and performance.
Many news outlets covered the controversy regarding the batteries, including The Verge, NPR, The Guardian, The Washington Post and more.
On December 22nd, Redditor MuhammadAdel posted Apple's response in the /r/technology subreddit. Within six hours, the post received more than 22,000 points (90% upvoted) and 1,600 comments.
Twitter users reacted negative to the controversy. On December 20th, Twitter user @sam_siruomu tweeted, "So it's true Apple intentionally slow down old iPhones. Proof: My iPhone 6 was bought 3years ago and recently got really slow. APP 'CPU DasherX' shows iPhone CPU is under clocked running at 600MHz. After a iPhone battery replacement. CPU speed resumed to factory setting 1400MHz." The post (shown below, left) received more than 18,000 retweets and 30,000 likes in less than two days. Throughout the week, other Twitter users expressed their dismay at the news (examples, center and right).
 Reddit – PSA: iPhone slow? Try replacing your battery!
 Geekbench – iPhone Performance and Battery Age
 TechCruch – Apple addresses why people are saying their iPhones with older batteries are running ‘slower’
 The Verge – Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance
 NPR – Apple Says It Slows Older iPhones To Save Their Battery Life
 The Guardian – Apple admits slowing older iPhones because of ageing batteries
 The Washington Post – Apple slows your iPhone as the battery ages, but doesn’t give you a cheap way to replace it
 Reddit – Apple admitted it’s been secretly throttling the performance of older iPhones
 Reddit – PSA: iPhone slow? Try replacing your battery!
 Twitter – @sam_siruomu's Tweet
 Apple – A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance
 USA Today – Apple sued by more iPhone owners over software that slowed older phones
 Scribd – Lazarus, Aberman, Margolis, Brodsky and Childs vs. Apple Inc.
There are no videos currently available.
Dec 21, 2017 at 05:16PM EST
Dec 29, 2017 at 05:37PM EST
+ Add a Comment
Add a Comment