The tech giant confirmed for The Verge today that they do put protocols in place to make the processing speed of their phones slow down gradually. However, they vehemently denied claims that it was part of a plot to force consumers to buy new phones sooner.
In their statement, Apple said that the age of the phone doesn't determine its speed, but rather the age of the battery does. Because lithium-ion batteries, like those in iPhones, are known to degrade over time, Apple says they put a throttle in place to help preserve the charge of phones with older batteries. This way a phone will keep its charge all day for longer.
Still, many consumers aren't satisfied with this explanation, and they take an issue with the fundamental idea that a huge corporation would design a product to reduce its processing speed by more than half without telling them.
Tech reporters are overjoyed, as the problem of dwindling iPhone speed is now hypothetically solved. Those who understand the issue can now simply have the battery in their old phone replaced rather than purchasing a whole new one. Of course, that's not a cheap procedure either.
For the vast majority of consumers who aren't researching these products thoroughly, the end result will be the same — they'll buy a new phone once their old one stops doing the things they count on it for, and either Apple or another manufacturer will have their money.
Here's Apple's full statement on the issue:
"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We've now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future."
So it's true Apple intentionally slow down old iPhones. Proof: My iPhone 6 was bought 3years ago and recently got really slow. APP 'CPU DasherX' shows iPhone CPU is under clocked running at 600MHz. After a iPhone battery replacement. CPU speed resumed to factory setting 1400MHz. pic.twitter.com/pML3y0Jkp2— Sam_Si (@sam_siruomu) December 20, 2017