“After it was revealed in late 2017 that Apple intentionally slows down the performance of older iPhones as their batteries deteriorate, people freaked out. There were explanations, recriminations, apologies, lawsuits, and, finally, solutions,” Pete Pachal writes for Mashable. “But in the wake of that specific controversy, a question arose: Does this happen to Android phones, too?”

“For the most part, the answer seems to be ‘no,'” Pachal writes.

During their podcast, Mashable spoke with John Poole, founder of Primate Labs and author of the original study that provided hard evidence of the iPhone slow-down problem.

“The existence of this problem likely speaks to the fundamental ways that iOS and Android are engineered. As Poole explains, Apple has been able to get impressive results from its end-to-end product strategy where it designs the iPhone’s hardware, software, CPU, and more. The iPhone scores incredibly well on Geekbench compared to its Android competition, which often boast better on-paper specs,” Pachal writes. “‘Apple is the undisputed king of single-core performance. It’s astounding what they’ve been able to fit in a relatively small package. The problem is that with that great performance comes great power demands,’ [Poole says].”

“Apple squeezes every last bit of performance it can get out of its chips. Put simply, Apple’s chips are incredibly efficient, though that leaves little margin for error or problems,” Pachal writes. “‘What I wonder is whether Apple’s end-to-end process almost ended up as sort of an Achilles’ heel here,’ Poole speculates. ‘Maybe they made design decisions when they were designing the 6 and the 6S — this is the process we’re going to use, and this is the size of the battery we’re going to use, and we know from our data this will be OK — and maybe they didn’t factor in the aging process as well as they could have.'”

MacDailyNews Take: If you miscalculate or make faulty assumptions, the advantage of vertical integration – owning the whole widget – disappears.

To do things the way Apple does, mistakes are magnified. Extreme focus and fastidious attention to detail are required.

BTW, it’s a good thing Android phones don’t slow down any further or they’d be going backwards:

iPhone 8’s Apple A11 Bionic chip so destroys Android phones that Geekbench creator can’t even believe it – September 30, 2017

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This immediately brings to mind something we wrote back in December 2015:

What’d be wrong with slightly thicker iPhone with more battery life and a flush camera assembly?

Yes, we know Apple thinks thinness sets iPhone apart from all other so-called smartphones (actually, it’s the operating system, the software and the ecosystem), but the iPhone 6/Plus and iPhone 6s/Plus are simply too thin to house their camera assembly.

iPhone 6s is 0.28 inch (7.1 mm) thin. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is 0.27 inch (6.8 mm). The “thicker” iPhone 6s easily outsells the thinner Galaxy S6. Obviously, at this point, the selling point of “thinness” is overrated.

iPhone 6 and 6s has battery life issues for heavy iPhone users (hint: get an Apple Watch. You’ll use your iPhone less and the battery will easily outlast even the longest day).

The law of diminishing returns can also be applied to industrial design. Apple’s eternal quest for thinness eventually runs into issues such as bulging camera assemblies, battery capacity, strength (breakability), etc. – is Apple’s quest for thinness now bordering on the quixotic?

So, is it “you can never be too thin” or is it “thin enough is thin enough?”

SEE ALSO:
Hey Apple, it’s time to give up thinness for bigger, longer-lasting batteries – January 6, 2017
Open thread: What’d be wrong with slightly thicker iPhone with more battery life and a flush camera assembly? – December 21, 2015

Apple’s $29 replacement batteries expected to hurt new iPhone sales – January 4, 2018
How to see if Apple’s throttling your iPhone – January 4, 2018
Brazilian agency requires Apple to inform consumers on batteries – January 3, 2018
Analyst: Apple’s ‘batterygate’ solution may mean 16 million fewer iPhones sold this year – January 3, 2018
An Apple conspiracy theory blooms – January 2, 2018
Apple clarifies policy on $29 battery replacements: All iPhone 6 and later devices are eligible – January 2, 2018
Why Apple’s response to iPhone ‘batterygate’ is brilliant – December 30, 2017
Australian lawyers to launch largest-ever class action against Apple over iPhone ‘batterygate’ – December 29, 2017
The most annoying things about Apple’s iPhone ‘batterygate’ apology – December 29, 2017
iFixit discounts iPhone battery replacement kits as Apple cuts prices, apologizes for the confusion – December 29, 2017
15 class action lawsuits filed against Apple for throttling iPhones with aging batteries – December 29, 2017
Apple apologizes for poor communication about iPhone batteries and performance; slashes battery replacement cost from $79 to $29 – December 28, 2017
No, Apple’s throttling of iPhones with aging batteries is not planned obsolescence – December 28, 2017
Apple execs face jail in France after lawsuit over slowing down iPhones – December 28, 2017
Korea seeks explanation from Apple for slowing down devices without warning – December 28, 2017
Apple now facing 8 lawsuits over throttling processors in iPhones with aging batteries – December 27, 2017
Apple tarnished their brand with clandestine iPhone battery management and processor throttling – December 27, 2017
Should Apple replace aging iPhone batteries for free instead of throttling processor speed? – December 21, 2017
Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance – December 20, 2017
iPhone performance and battery age – December 18, 2017
Apple met with Chinese regulators to discuss iPhone 6s unexpected shutdowns – February 10, 2017
Rumor: Apple may extend iPhone 6s battery replacement program to iPhone 6 – January 17, 2017
A message from Apple about 
iPhone and unexpected shutdowns – December 2, 2016
Apple offers free battery replacement for ‘very small number’ of iPhone 6s units with unexpected shutdown issue – November 21, 2016