Tim Cook: next iOS update will let users disable iPhone battery performance throttling
But will it stop the lawsuits?By Rob Thubron 13 comments
With its admission that it throttles performance on older iPhones, Apple is facing one of its biggest controversies in years. The feature may be for the benefit of the owner, but Apple's failure to disclose what it's been doing has been met with anger. Now, Tim Cook says a future update will allow the performance throttling to be switched off, if a user wishes.
Back in December, Geekbench results showed a link between iPhone performance and battery age. Apple admitted to making its older handsets run slower to prevent random reboots caused by worn-out batteries unable to provide enough power for demanding functions. This "power management" plan was surreptitiously implemented through an iOS update, and people weren't happy about the way Apple went about it. The situation has even led to several lawsuits against the company.
Last month, Apple apologized for the way it has handled the situation. To try and appease customers, it reduced the price it charges for replacement batteries in the iPhone 6 and newer devices from $79 to $29. It also promised a new update that would indicate if a degraded battery is causing throttling to occur.
In an interview with ABC News, Tim Cook revealed that with the iOS update, owners would not only be able to check the status of the battery and how much their device is being throttled, but they'll also be able to turn off the power management feature. Apple still doesn't recommend people disable it as this could lead to unexpected shutdowns, but users will likely appreciate having the option.
The update will arrive in developer preview first sometime next month, before being made available to everyone sometime in March.