Apple Said It Makes Older iPhones Slow On Purpose. Here's What To Do About It.

Nicole Nguyen

Why you should replace your iPhone battery (instead of getting a new iPhone).

There is a long-standing allegation that Apple deliberately makes old iPhones slower, so you're forced to upgrade to a newer model.

johnny (@Jdaulton01 )
it seems like as soon as the new iPhone came out my phone suddenly can't keep a full battery
Rebz (@Rebz4evr )
I fell like Apple somehow purposely made the iPhone 4's slower after the 5's came out to force us to upgrade.

Only part of that is true: Older iPhones with aged batteries *are* more sluggish than new phones — but Apple claims it's because they're trying to avoid forced, unexpected shut downs, not because they want you to upgrade.

Robert Galbraith / Reuters

Basically, iPhones use lithium-ion batteries, which decay over time.

After 500 charge cycles, the iPhone battery is designed to retain only 80% of its original capacity. So depending on use, you may start to see your iPhone's battery life dwindle after a year or so.

As the battery degrades, it can no longer handle demanding tasks, like processor-intensive games and apps.

So, for iPhone 6, 6S, SE, and 7, Apple recently released a feature that throttles — or slows down — the iPhone's processor when it's running on a decayed battery. This is to prevent your iPhone from malfunctioning and shutting down.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Apple said:

In any case, it's frustrating when your iPhone is slow! The best fix? Replacing your battery.

Getting a new battery (which costs $79 out of warranty through Apple or less with a third-party, non-authorized service provider) will likely improve your iPhone's performance significantly. It's a lot cheaper than getting a brand new phone!

Look what a battery replacement did for this guy!

Sam_Si (@sam_siruomu )
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.

If you're wondering if your older iPhone is experiencing battery decay, you can use Battery Life or Geekbench 4 ($1) to run battery benchmark tests.

Apple Support can also run a remote test that will check your iPhone’s overall battery health.

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