A conspiracy theory that has been around for quite awhile recently turned out to be true — sort of — as Apple officially confirmed that it does indeed slow down older iPhones as the batteries age and degrade.
In Apple’s confirmation of the “feature” it introduced last year, it didn’t say that this was a common practice in the smartphone industry or anything of that sort. But considering it is a big deal, and with Apple’s reasoning behind its actions almost logical, it was only a matter of time before other smartphone manufacturers started weighing in on the situation.
Thanks to a report from The Verge we at least have comments from two companies: Motorola and HTC. Spokespeople for both companies spoke to the publication, with Motorola saying slowing down phones due to battery life “is not something we do.” Meanwhile, HTC’s spokesperson says, “We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries.”
The Verge reached out to Google, Samsung, LG, and Sony as well. A Samsung spokesperson chimed in and said that they would look into the situation, without providing an official statement just yet, while Sony said a comment would be delayed due to the holidays. Google and LG spokespeople had apparently not responded yet.
For those who haven’t heard about this, Apple confirmed earlier this month that it introduced a feature in older iPhones (starting with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, and most recently the iPhone 7) that aimed to prevent random shutdowns on those devices. As the company outlined, batteries degrade with age and use and, as they do, they are unable to output the same power they were when they were newer.
In those cases, the phones would sometimes unexpectedly shut down because the processor was spinning up to reach too demanding speeds and processes. Apple’s goal was to limit the processor speed to avoid these random shut downs and to put less strain on the batteries inside those phones. However, it did so without actually saying anything about the feature to iPhone users.
As mentioned above, the belief that Apple has knowingly slowed down iPhones on a regular basis to coax iPhone users into buying new iPhones has been around for years, but it actually became a reality this year, with Apple admitting it does slow down old iPhones starting in 2016.
As you might imagine, Apple is facing a backlash and lawsuits over their decision to go this route. As far as public opinion goes, what other smartphone manufacturers have to say related to their own tactics might help shape that in the weeks to come.
At least it sounds like HTC and Motorola don’t share the same practices.
What do you think of all this?