Apple has received its share of criticism after it came to light that older iPhone models were automatically being throttled in order to get some extra life out of degrading batteries. The iPhone 6 in particular was heavily impacted by this, with performance drops as high as 50 percent. Apple’s apology didn’t help much either, with the company offering $30 battery replacements to make up for it. Now, a new plan is being put into place, with a future iOS update set to give users the option between performance and battery life.
Tim Cook this week confirmed that an upcoming iOS update will allow users to opt-out of the automatic throttling ‘feature’. It is true that Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time and can’t hold the same capacity as they once did. However, it should be up to the user whether or not they want to sacrifice performance to eek out extra life from their battery. Apple will now be giving users that option.
The confirmation came during an interview with Tim Cook on ABC News. As you might expect, Apple’s official position on the matter is that users shouldn’t switch off automatic throttling as it can lead to unexpected battery-related issues, including unexpected shutdowns.
However, with this iOS update, users will be able to see the health of their battery in a more transparent way. Users will also be notified when performance is being lowered in order to preserve battery health. If a user doesn’t want their iPhone to slow down by a certain percentage, then they can turn this off. Alternatively, when battery health gets too low, the $29 battery replacement option is still on the table.
KitGuru Says: Given that batteries do degrade over time, it does make sense for the processor to do less work in order to not over work it. However, the way Apple went about it was underhanded and gave off the wrong impression. Apple should have displayed battery health from the beginning and warned users about potential throttling due to degradation.