For years, people have claimed that Apple slows down your iPhone with each subsequent release of iOS. This has been the stuff of Apple and iPhone conspiracy theories for a long time. The reasons cited were that Apple wanted users to upgrade their phones. If users felt that their old phones had become slow, they would upgrade. It turns out, this is actually, sort of true. Apple has confirmed that it does indeed slow down your old iPhone but it hasn’t been doing this for ‘years’. It’s been going on since iOS 10.2.
Update: Apple is offering to replace your old battery for $29. Read about the Apple iPhone battery replacement offer here.
The company wasn’t exactly forthcoming about this reveal. Apple had to admit to the practice when Reddit users and the good folks at Geekbench noticed something was amiss and made their findings public. One might dismiss the claims of a random Reddit user but you can’t ignore Geekbench.
Apple calls this a ‘Feature’, like it does all things that don’t work as expected and it targets older devices with aging batteries. For now, it seems the iPhone 7/7 Plus, and later models are not affected. Older iPhone models like the iPhone 6/6 Plus/6S/6S Plus, however will have slowed down.
Apple, or rather iOS, does this because the battery is unable to supply enough power to the CPU chip for it to work optimally. This is what resulted in the random shut down problems that surfaced last year. This new ‘feature’ is how Apple resolved the problem for most users while replacing the battery for some.
Replace Your Battery
If you’ve noticed your iPhone has slowed down to a point where it’s almost unusable, and you’re debating whether or not to upgrade you should try replacing your battery instead. Apple does replace batteries if you have a warranty but they usually do it if the charge capacity has fallen below 50%. You can instead opt to pay for a new battery at an Apple Store. It costs under $100.
New Battery Or New iPhone
It goes without saying that a new battery costs considerably less than a new iPhone. If costs are the only deciding factor then you ought to just get a new battery and use your current iPhone model until it stops getting iOS support.
If you feel there are good, solid features in the newest iPhone that you would like to use, and will likely use often, get a new iPhone. Upgrading your device because your old one is slow is no longer a viable reason to upgrade your iPhone. You can still do it if you like having the latest device or you feel like you’re missing out on features that everyone has but it all boils down to cost and usage. Animoji are not worth the $1000 price tag, and for that matter, neither is Face ID.
Replacing your battery will not resolve slow Touch ID.