Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Dec 2017 17:36 UTC

A Reddit post from last week has sparked a discussion regarding iPhone performance as a function of battery age. While we expect battery capacity to decrease as batteries age, we expect processor performance to stay the same. However, users with older iPhones with lower-than-expected Geekbench 4 scores have reported that replacing the battery increases their score (as well as the performance of the phone). What's going on here? How many phones are experiencing decreased Geekbench 4 score?

To answer these questions I've plotted the kernel density of Geekbench 4 single-core scores for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 running different versions of iOS. Scores obtained in low-power mode are not included in the distribution.

Evidence seems to be mounting that Apple is decreasing the clock speed of iPhones with decreased battery capacity to maintain the advertised battery life.

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It is true
by cranfordio on Wed 20th Dec 2017 23:12 UTC
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RE: It is true
by Alfman on Thu 21st Dec 2017 00:10 in reply to "It is true"
Alfman Member since:


The artificially created slowdowns experienced by some users (but not all users) are considerable. Looking at the distribution as opposed to a simple average shows this clearly and I applaud geekbench for doing that. The lack of a distribution in futuremark's data turned out to be very misleading. All the while the media was denying any problems at all. Seriously though, listen to how condescending some articles were to users experiencing these issues.

Google data shows that searches for “slow iPhone” skyrocket every single year right after Apple launches a new device. The cynics say this is proof that Apple purposely slows down older models with its latest software to encourage users to upgrade.

In reality, it’s a psychological phenomenon. We see a new iPhone, with significantly faster hardware and new features, and our existing device suddenly feels slow. But performance is just as good as it was before Apple pushed out any updates.

Don’t believe the myth

“Our benchmarking data shows that, rather than intentionally degrading the performance of older models, Apple actually does a good job of supporting its older devices with regular updates that maintain a consistent level of performance across iOS versions,” Futuremark concludes.

It’s true that performance could be impacted by new features that require more processing power. And new apps that are optimized for the latest hardware may not perform so well on older devices.

But the notion that Apple purposely slows down older devices with iOS updates is complete trash. Don’t believe the myth.

Gosh, it just goes to show that sometimes you can trust your own eyes; reports that apple did not purposefully slow down older devices with ios updates are complete trash.

Edited 2017-12-21 00:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: It is true
by galvanash on Fri 22nd Dec 2017 00:10 in reply to "RE: It is true"
galvanash Member since:

If they can detect a failing battery well enough to adjust the clock speed to make it last longer (as they say), why can't they just tell the user "Your battery is failing. Time to get your phone serviced."?

I mean I understand that batteries generally degrade over time, and eventually they will start behaving badly. But they are replaceable, Apple themselves offer service to replace batteries. Why not just tell the user they need service instead of silently gimping their phone behind their back???

I mean I know why... It's a rhetorical question.

Shame on Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 3