Apple just unveiled three new iPhones during its annual September press conference, the three phones we all expected to see Apple announce. But it also killed six models in the process, retiring the aging iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and the iPhone X. While Apple won’t sell these particular phones in store, it doesn’t mean they’re just going to disappear. They may become even more attractive to buyers looking for used iPhone deals. But if you are going to buy one of the older phones, especially the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, make sure you verify the health of their batteries and replace them before Apple’s deal expires.
Late last year Apple was hit with a massive iPhone slowdown scandal that seemed to confirm the conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhone to force users to upgrade. What happened was that Apple failed to adequately inform iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s users that iOS will throttle the speed of their devices when battery health issues are detected, to prevent shutdowns.
Apple then issued apology after apology and promised to allow you to control CPU throttling manually. More importantly, Apple kicked off a one-year iPhone battery replacement program that reduced the repair fee from $79 to $29. That’s a great deal for anyone rocking older handsets that need battery replacements.
But the arrival of the iPhone Xs and Xr phones reminds us that the deal will soon expire, and prices will go up after December 31st. Apple updated its support page to include the three new iPhones it just launched — swapping out faulty iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr batteries will cost you $69 if you don’t have AppleCare+.
The document also notes that all replacements for iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X will cost $29 only until December 31st. After that, you’ll pay $49 to replace the battery of any old iPhone model, except for the iPhone X, whose battery replacement fee will go up to $69.
Apple has said goodbye to the last iPhones with a headphone jack. At the same time, it has ended the ceramic Apple Watch Edition.
Apple has begun production on the iPhone 6s in India. This is the second Apple handset after the iPhone SE to be manufactured in the nation.
While iPhone 6s Plus may seem outdated by today’s standards, it accounted for an estimated one-third of Apple’s smartphone sales in India last year. The company could reduce production cost of iPhone 6s Plus by five to seven percent with local manufacturing.
The iPhone 6s is still a great device for its age, but as it turns out, that’s only true if your battery is in good condition. Otherwise, Apple’s iOS algorithms automatically slow down the handset to prevent unwanted shutdowns.
We already know iPhones that are slowed down will score a lot lower in benchmark tests than they should. That’s how someone discovered Apple’s secret iPhone throttling in the first place, which turned out to be quite the scandal for the company. Dozens of class action suits and various government investigations emerged in the wake of the revelations, even though Apple has taken some steps to address the matter and to appease customers.
But a new series of speed tests show us how slow an iPhone 6s with a chemically aged battery can get. Spoiler: It’s not pretty.
Remember all those speed test comparisons that we see on YouTube on a regular basis? Usually, we’re looking at the best Android devices being compared to the latest iPhone. These traditional “real life” speed tests involve opening a set of predetermined apps on both phones to see which one is faster.
YouTube user Bennett Sorbo applied that technique to his iPhone 6s, comparing the phone’s speed before and after a battery replacement. As you’ll see in the clip below, the iPhone 6s that’s throttled is significantly slower when performing the same exact tasks as the same iPhone 6s with a brand new battery.
I understand that Apple wants to prevent iPhone shutdowns with by slowing down iPhones with batteries that need servicing. But in real life usage, a throttled iPhone performs a lot worse than you’d expect. It’s certainly worse than Apple would have you think.
“iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown,” Apple said in an apology letter late last year. “While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.”
Check out the clip below, and see for yourself whether you notice the changes.