Thursday in CE: Apple Confirms iPhones Slow Down with Older Batteries
Yesterday was a day that answered a lot of questions in the Apple community. It has been speculated for a while now that older iPhones performance were being throttled for reasons unknown to the consumer. Speculation included Apple forcing customers to buy a new iPhone, another was the iOS was better optimized for new phones leaving the old ones in the dust.
Skipping over the fact that planned obsolescence is borderline criminal, Reddit users have found a smoking gun in Geekbench tests that show older models, specifically the older batteries, are throttling performance. What it boils down to is that iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.0 introduced throttling for different devices, in theory to prevent random shutdown issues.
Some Reddit users report that replacing their batteries has returned performance and CPU clock speeds back to normal. The reports are particularly troubling because any perceived slowdowns by iPhone users might tempt owners to upgrade their entire device instead of replace the battery. “This fix will also cause users to think, 'my phone is slow so I should replace it' not, 'my phone is slow so I should replace its battery,’” says Geekbench’s John Poole.
So it's true Apple intentionally slow down old iPhones. Proof: My iPhone 6 was bought 3years ago and recently got really slow. APP 'CPU DasherX' shows iPhone CPU is under clocked running at 600MHz. After a iPhone battery replacement. CPU speed resumed to factory setting 1400MHz. pic.twitter.com/pML3y0Jkp2
— Sam_Si (@sam_siruomu) December 20, 2017
Apple confirmed the findings with The Verge, but not the intentions to replace the phone:
Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. 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.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.
Giving Apple the benefit of the doubt that they want to protect users older phones that have degrading batteries, it makes sense to throttle old phones. But given all the pushback from letting consumers repairing their own device and not educating consumers that their phone is slower still leaves a bad taste.
First 5G Specification has been Approved
Much like winter, 5G is coming. It has always been behind the wall, waiting for its moment to take over.
And now members of the 3GPP, the organization that makes cellular standards that carriers and equipment makers around the world need to follow, have ratified a new 5G specification at its meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.
According to the 3GPP, it will release the standards it's ratified this week. Once they're released, vendors, including Ericsson, Qualcomm, and others, will be able to start making equipment that will ultimately power 5G networks. According to Fierce Wireless, the specifications also ensure that 5G will run across a wide swath of spectrum, ranging from 600MHz to 700MHz through to 50GHz.
To be clear, this isn't the end of work on 5G. As Fierce Wireless notes, 3GPP still needs to handle a wide variety of other 5G-related topics, including nonorthogonal multiple access, unlicensed spectrum concerns, and more.
There is still a long way to go, but this is a good start.
The Best of the Rest of the Net
- Windows 10’s face authentication defeated with a picture... a very detailed with specific attributes, but it proves that it's still a few steps behind iPhone's tech.
- Amazon is planning to end support for its online MP3 locker. Truthfully, it's probably the best move for consumers considering all the alternatives.
- The Android Wear app surpassed 10 million installs earlier this week, as revealed by its recently updated listing on the Google Play Store. The actual number of active Android Wear-powered devices is presumed to be higher since the figure doesn’t include iPhone users for obvious reasons and doesn’t account for owners of multiple wearables.