Apple Slows Down Older iPhones
The headline is actually deceiving. Apple does not slow down your iPhone based on age, or as some conspiracy theorists allege, based on when a new iPhone is coming out. However, it does throttle performance to slow the phone down.
Slower iPhone With Old Battery
As it turns out, Apple begins to throttle (limit) the power used during peak need on phones with older batteries. According to the company it does this to improve the user experience. Of course, Apple always say this. If the company ever started poking users in the eye with a sharp stick, they would say they were doing it because their data shows that customers don’t really use their depth perception, so they really only need one eye.
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The reality is that Apple does have a point. As a lithium-ion battery (the kind in iPhones) ages, it loses charging capacity. Essentially, some of the ions in the battery get locked into uncharged position and can never be charged again. Over time, that means that the max charge on the battery gets lower.
That means that a single, full 100% charge of such a battery won’t last as long as a full 100% charge on a new battery will, even though both phones will read 100%.
It also means that there is less power to draw on during peak usage. It is for this reason, and not the length a full charge lasts, that Apple throttles, or limits, the power of the CPU. The idea is that by avoiding peak power drawing, Apple prevents the phone from shutting down unexpectedly.
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Replace iPhone Battery to Get Speed Back
The part of this story that is so frustrating, of course, is that Apple insists on making it nearly impossible for you to change the battery in your phone so that you can keep getting full speed and full-length charges.
Why would they do such a thing?
You guessed it. User experience. Not allowing users to change the battery means the company doesn’t have to worry about where it physically places the battery in the phone. It also doesn’t have to worry about giving users a way to open and close the case, all while maintaining that sleek, polished look Apple is famous for.
In the end, you can have your battery replaced, either by Apple for $80 or for a third-party for about half that. Once you replace the battery, the throttling stops and speed picks back up.
If you are planning on keeping that iPhone 6 (or even an iPhone 7 from a few years ago), and it seems like your phone is getting slower, it probably is. Go get the battery replaced and get full power back on your iPhone.