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Does Apple throttle clock speeds on older iPhones with worn batteries?

By Shawn Knight · 9 replies
Dec 11, 2017
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  1. iPhones have long been associated with the concept of planned obsolescence. That is, some believe Apple intentionally slows performance on older devices in hopes of convincing users that the gadget is past its prime and ripe for replacement.

    Reddit over the weekend surfaced some interesting evidence on the subject.

    User TeckFire reported that his iPhone 6S had been unusually slow in recent weeks, even after multiple iOS updates. The phone’s battery wear level was around 20 percent with Geekbench scores of 1,466 single / 2,512 multi. After replacing the battery, Geekbench scores improved to 2,526 single / 4,456 multi.

    Again, the only thing that changed was the battery. Low power mode was disabled for both runs.

    The theory here is that the issue is related to Apple’s battery fiasco with the iPhone 6S from last year in which some devices were shutting down unexpectedly. Apple launched a battery replacement program to handle the matter and a few months later, rolled out iOS 10.2.1 which it said further remedied the situation.

    The new evidence on Reddit presents some interesting questions. Did Apple’s iOS update that “fixed” the matter simply do so by dynamically throttling the phones’ clock speeds to reduce stress on older batteries, thus making them less likely to shut down from excess power draw? Was this a way to get around having to replace even more batteries?

    That would certainly explain why replacing an old battery would boost benchmarking performance. Then again, it’s important to emphasize that this is just one example. A deeper look into the matter will be needed to reach a solid conclusion. Perhaps Apple will also publicly comment on the topic in the coming days (although I wouldn’t hold my breath).

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. cd123

    cd123 TS Rookie

    Any phone with a non-replacable battery is planned obsolence.
     
  3. cd123

    cd123 TS Rookie

    As is my spelling.. obsolescence!

    Moderator note: FYI, if you switch to forum mode, you can edit your posts for awhile.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2017
    FPSChris likes this.
  4. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,992   +1,176

    I've had my S6 for 15 months (Since Sept 2016) and the battery is nowhere near as good as it was. To make myself clear I am not hating on my S6 or todays batteries, they work fine for 2-3 years, which is a solid run for a device that costs me $300 (how much I paid). If you're spending $500-$1000, you're getting jacked up.

    My HP Slate 4200 Plus finally died completely after 3 years. Came with a Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery. On a full charge it will last about 25 minutes of just browsing. Warranty was only good for a year, tossed it in the garbage last night.


    http://www.businessinsider.com/smartphone-batteries-are-only-meant-to-last-a-year-2015-10

    So about 50% after 2 years if you charge it right and take care of it. Worse if you don't...Sounds about right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,367   +1,390

    Sigh; absolutely true and although I'm strictly iPhone, these are non-replaceable units - - you have to recycle via Apple to get another duplicate device with another new (pricie) battery. Action plan works, but sure stinks!
     
  6. Bao Nguyen

    Bao Nguyen TS Booster Posts: 70   +42

    Except it is totally replaceable, just not by average users. Price is $79 at Apple Store, only if you're out of warranty, if you're still in warranty, it's free (Apple Care+).
     
  7. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,666   +1,133

    I would like it if removable batteries would make a comeback but you can still replace a "non-removable" battery, it's just a little bit more risky if you have glass back. My S6 battery is a bit underwhelming because before I had a phone with 3K mAh but I plan on replacing it with a S7 edge battery of 3600mAh.
     
  8. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +127

    I have this Ni-Cad electric razor when I was in college. I’m 33 now and it still works. Never replaced the battery. Can’t be said for Li-Ions I owned.
     
  9. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,372   +1,503

    Except you cant find genuine replacements because nobody bothers making them for sealed batteries.

    This is the issue I ran into with my nexus 5 (RIP). Battery was shot, but all of the generic replacements couldnt manage 2 hours of SoT brand new. They were all trash. This wasnt an issue for my note 4, where the likes of anker and zerolemon made actual good batteries years after samsung stopped making them.

    I also wish somebody would make a phone with a removable cell again. Nobody has the option anymore, LG was the last one. Oh if only I could put a 10k MaH zerolemon battery in my moto z play....
     
  10. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,992   +1,176

    Apple Care is a 1 year warranty, same as every product in the world.
    In other words, useless here.
     

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