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Apple admits it slows down older iPhones

Apple admits it slows down older iPhones
WATCH ABOVE: Apple admits to including a feature in recent iOS software updates that slows down phones to protect devices from aging batteries

After many years of speculation, Apple has admitted it slows down its older iPhones as a way to protect aging batteries on the devices.

On Wednesday, Apple said the feature was implemented on the iPhone 6, 6S and SE last year during a software update. It’s also on the iPhone 7 as of December with the release of i0S 11.2.

READ MORE: Is Apple guilty of using ‘planned obsolescence’ to force iPhone users into upgrading?

Apple plans to add this feature to other devices released in the future.

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices,” Tara Hendela, an Apple spokesperson, said.

WATCH: Class-action lawsuit filed against Apple following admission it slows down aging iPhones

Class-action lawsuit filed against Apple following admission it slows down aging iPhones
Class-action lawsuit filed against Apple following admission it slows down aging iPhones

“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,” she added.

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The admission comes after many Reddit users said they noticed their older phones were running slowly. But when the batteries were replaced, users said the phone was back to normal.

READ MORE: Apple’s iOS 10 update caused major issues for some iPhone users

On Monday, a report from Primate Labs found processors in iPhones slow down and decrease in performance as batteries age and lose capacity.

John Poole, the founder of Primate Labs, wrote in a blog post that users still expect their phones to perform the same, regardless of how old the battery is.

He added that Apple’s poor communication on this issue may lead users to believe their phone, and not the battery, needs to be replaced.

WATCH: Petitioners are accusing Apple of driving consumers to buy the new iPhone 7 by making their old devices obsolete

Are iPhones becoming obsolete? Petitioners think so
Are iPhones becoming obsolete? Petitioners think so

“While this state is created to mask a deficiency in battery power, users may believe that the slowdown is due to CPU performance, instead of battery performance,” he said.

“This will likely feed into the ‘planned obsolescence’ narrative,” he said.

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Planned obsolescence a method of making products with shorter lifespans, or making current generation products seem obsolete in order to sell a “new and improved” version.

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READ MORE: New iOS update will make older iPhones, iPads obsolete

A Google Trends search shows over the past years, when Apple launches a new device people seem to head to the internet to ask why their current iPhone is so slow.


Apple charges around US$80 to replace iPhone batteries not covered under the phone’s warranty.

In October, Futuremark, a Finnish company that builds hardware performance benchmarks, collected over 100,000 benchmarks from iPhone 5S, 6, 6S and 7 devices for more than a year.

READ MORE: Report finds Apple does not intentionally slow down older iPhones

The firm eventually concluded that the longstanding conspiracy theory claiming that Apple slows down older iPhones isn’t supported by the data.

The report also said several factors may affect an iPhone owner’s perception of their device’s performance after updating an older phone to a newer version of iOS.

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“An update might add new features that use more resources or require more processing power. New apps developed for the latest models might not run as smoothly on older devices,” the report stated.

— With files from Global News’ Jessica Vomiero