Tagged: iphone 6s

Speed tests before and after battery swap show us how bad iPhone throttling really is

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.


Phew: iPhone X and iPhone 8 won’t be throttled when their batteries get old

Not only did Apple release a new iOS 11.3 beta version that includes the new battery health and speed throttle features, but it also revealed more details about its biggest scandal to date, the iPhone slowdown issue. The company issued an ample letter to Congress in which it explains the whole mess. One of the gems included in the letter is the fact that the iPhone X and iPhone 8 series won’t be slowed down when battery life starts sucking, which is obviously great news for anyone who currently owns either phone model and plans to hold onto it for more than a year.

When Apple released the first iOS 11.3 beta a few weeks ago, we warned you that iPhone X and iPhone 8 users would not get the new throttle toggle in the Settings app. Instead, they’ll just be treated to a new battery health screen. This seemed to be an indirect confirmation from Apple that the iPhone X and iPhone 8 don’t have to be slowed down in about a year from now, once the battery starts showing its age.

At the time, we told you that Apple might change its mind down the road. After all, the iPhone 7 series was just added to the iPhone slowdown “program,” which initially covered only the iPhone 6/6 Plus and iPhone 6s/6s Plus.

In its letter to Congress, Apple made it clear that the iPhone 8 and iPhone X handsets that were released last fall won’t be affected by slowdowns. The company also updated an online support document about iPhone battery and performance with specific details about the new handsets.

iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery’s power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.

As you can see above, Apple still reminds you that all iPhone batteries are ultimately prone to degradation and they’ll need to be replaced at some point. But at least iPhone X and iPhone 8 users won’t have to worry about having the speed of their phones slowed down in the future, or about unexpected shutdowns.

Here’s Apple’s full response to Congress: