Apple has been the centre of the entire buzz for past few days, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. The company recently apologised for intentionally slowing down iPhones with degraded batteries, and in turn, offered discounts on replacements for users who don’t want to upgrade to a new iPhone.
Besides, Apple also gave users an in-depth look at how the CPU throttling works. The long support document where the company has mentioned about the process raises concerns about how an iPhone works after the tweaks are applied and can alarm users as symptoms of their phone’s performance are reduced deliberately.
“This feature’s only intent is to prevent unexpected shutdowns so that the iPhone can still be used,” Apple explains.
The company admits having tweaked all iPhones that were launched before the current generation. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were added to the list with the release of iOS 11.2.
“This power management works by looking at a combination of the device temperature, battery state of charge, and the battery’s impedance. Only if these variables require it, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.”
As the batteries get old, they hold their charges as a new one would, and can face serious issues in low temperature or when the charge is low. The battery tends to charge only up to 80 per cent after about 500 cycles, meaning it won’t last as long each time a user charges it.
Apple explains in some cases users might not notice any difference in the performance, though it does admit that in some cases, the transition might be noticeable.
What slows down on the phone? Well, a lot of things. The apps take longer to launch, lower frame rates while scrolling, backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center), and the camera flash is disabled in extreme cases.
However, the call quality, picture and video quality, GPS performance, Apple pay and sensors such as the gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer aren’t impacted due to the software.
To make up for the fiasco, Apple has also altered the battery replacement policy for the iPhone 6 or later devices, regardless of their diagnostic tool result.
Previously, the company said that for a request to be approved, the device’s battery should undergo the standard diagnosis made at the Genius Bar in an Apple Store. The test should then indicate that the battery is degraded or capable of holding only 80 per cent charge or less.
French website iGen reports, the company has published an internal note for the employees at the Genius Bar and authorized Apple retailers that all users are eligible for the battery replacement. Apple has also lowered the battery replacement cost from $79 to $29, even for out-of-warranty devices.