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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RE[6]: Known issue
by Alfman on Fri 22nd Dec 2017 21:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Known issue"
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Tony Swash,

Well first of all this type of issue - i.e. operating system updates affecting handset speeds - is far less common in the Android world simply because operating system updates are so much rarer than in the iOS world.

Ah yes, the classic pivot maneuver: when attacked, switch topic and blame anything else. I'll admit to plenty of android faults, but this isn't one of them. A stronger bait would have been "apple might reduce my phone's performance, but at least it doesn't catch on fire!" Haha ;)

I do think Apple could have handled this better and more transparently, particularly as there was a pre-existing tech myth that Apple deliberately slowed down old iPhones in order to sell new ones. I think there should be a built in feature in iOS that replicates the function of apps like Battery Life and which would let owners know that the battery in their handset was degrading, by how much and the likely consequences and remedies available.

"Myth"->confirmed. Anyways I obviously agree that apple should have been transparent, not coming forward when all those users were reporting slowdowns year after year was such a dick move. Transparency is a good first step, however "transparency" by itself isn't an adequate settlement. Apple should give owners a way to revert the code in the IOS updates that introduced the hidden slowdowns without disclosure or consent.

Additionally insofar as apple phones are crashing at high load on old batteries, then apple should pledge to fix that defect in future phones. You've got to admit that apple planning to continue this in the future is a rather shit outcome for consumers. Demand better of them!

As a result of this story I downloaded the Battery Life app and checked my iPhone 6 and discovered my battery had degraded by about 9%, luckily not enough effect anything much. My iPhone, which is running the latest iOS version, doesn’t feel any slower than when I got it, although as always third party app quality varies and sometimes an update can be problematic.

If you don't mind, you could actually help with the tests I outlined in an earlier post. Can you provide the geekbench scores at low battery and again at full battery? It could help clarify whether the IOS degraded performance mode is based on battery voltage or battery cycles.

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