What to do if you think Apple’s slowing down your iPhone

“It’s been one of the more persistent tech conspiracy theories: Apple slows down old iPhones to force people to pony up for new iPhones,” Heather Kelly reports for CNN. “This week, Apple confirmed what many have long suspected, but the company says it’s not some elaborate scheme to move more devices. An update to iOS may slow down some iPhone models to protect their older batteries and prevent them from suddenly shutting down.”

“Customers are angry that Apple didn’t disclose the feature when it was first released in an iOS update last year,” Kelly reports. “Two people are already suing the company, claiming the slow-downs caused ‘economic damages and other harm.’ They’re seeking class-action status.”

“If your phone is older than the iPhone 6, it’s likely regular wear, tear and maxed out storage are behind it slowing down. If you have an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X and it feels unusually sluggish, it may warrant a visit to the Apple Store,” Kelly reports. “If you’ve determined an old battery is to blame, try replacing it with a new one before buying an entirely new phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sigh. This was all so easily avoidable.

Apple confirms U.S. government inquiries over throttling iPhones with aging batteries – January 31, 2018
U.S. DOJ and SEC probe Apple over updates that slow iPhones with aging batteries – January 30, 2018
Apple previews iOS 11.3 with new battery health features, ability to turn processor throttling on and off, and more – January 24, 2018
Tim Cook: ‘Maybe we should have been clearer’ over throttling iPhones with aging batteries – January 18, 2018
China consumer group seeks answers from Apple over batterygate – January 16, 2018
South Korean consumer group considering criminal case against Apple over iPhone batterygate – January 11, 2018
French prosecutor launches probe into Apple planned obsolescence – January 8, 2018
Apple’s design decisions and iPhone batteries – January 8, 2018
Apple now faces over two dozen lawsuits for ‘purposefully’ or ‘secretly’ slowing down older iPhones – January 5, 2018
Why aging batteries don’t slow down Android phones like Apple iPhones – January 5, 2018
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


  1. Think of it like trying to run Windows10 on a old 286 computer. The battery issue should simply have a user controlled battery app on the phone to monitor conditions.
    ios 11 wont run well on a 4 year old phone…..your getting longer useage by dialing back speed……or , you could just let the phone shutdown and lose whatever you were in the middle of….

    1. The only iPhones affected from what I have read are iPhone 6 or newer. That is at most a 3 year old phone not 4.

      Also, I personally use an iPhone 5s with iOS 11. Runs great. If you are having issues with iOS 11, then you need to go thru the problem solving steps to track down what is hindering it.

  2. I like what Apple did in ensuring that users have a chance of battery life at the end of the day. People coming out of a show at night wanting to call a taxi NEED to have battery life – especially women in a shaky neighborhood. I do wish, however, that Apple had been loudly vocal when they installed the feature.

    My grandson has my old 6+ and has no complaints – but then he doesn’t stay on it all day. I will be taking him to the Apple store fir a $29 battery – that is the best deal ever. Instead of moaning about the issue go get a new battery for $29.

    1. @Ken – here’s a radical idea — Apple could stop indulging their thinner/lighter fetish and make a phone with a battery that lasts–wait for it–a whole day or more under normal use.

      “instead of moaning about the issue go get a new battery for $29”: Nobody KNEW that their phone’s performance was being throttled due to an aging battery because Apple did not disclose it. Likely to continue driving people to buy a new device instead of replacing their battery.

      And I assume you know the $29 pricetag for a new battery came after Apple was caught out on this issue and customers “moaned” loudly enough. Prior to that it was $80.

  3. Apple’s intention was honorable. Their mistake was keeping the change to themselves. Apple is notorious for silence. Sometimes it’s appropriate, but they need to communicate anything they do to alter a device they no longer own.

    1. I have to disagree. Hiding the fact that a component is failing doesn’t seem “honorable” to me. It’s deceptive.

      Imagine if when your tire pressure was low, your car’s engine just ran slower so there’s less chance of you being injured when you crash due to low tire pressure.

      This would be great if the car informs you of your pressure condition and what it is doing about it.

      This would be horrible if it just did it and let you keep on driving.

  4. I don’t think the slowdown was to prematurely obsolete the device, but I do think it quite possible it was to mask just how quickly the batteries degrade.

    A thicker phone would have provided more robust batteries. Bad design, it’s on them.

  5. Yes, my iPhone 6 Plus has slowed down considerably in the last few months. I can’t say for sure if it is the IOS slow down or if it is that my 128gb iPhone has too many apps. I do have 30% free space. But without a “disable slowdown” option, I can’t test it to find out for sure. Not without replacing the battery or waiting another 2 months for the update.

  6. I just tried to get a new battery in my iPhone. Since there isn’t a store within 200 miles, I opted to send it in. What a disaster that was. I’ve done several repairs this way and the longest delay was shipping back and forth. Not this time. I shipped on the 12th using the shipping box Apple provided. They received on the 15th and it just sat there. I checked on it, they didn’t have any batteries. Finally, last night they sent email saying my phone needed “additional repairs” at $130 without specifying what was needed. So now I’m having them sending it back without having anything done. Their policy is to fix everything or nothing. Almost of month without my phone.

    TL;DR: don’t send in for a new battery – my worst Apple experience.

  7. I went to the apple store expecting to get the battery replaced on my wife’s 6. Then was told they could swap it if I wanted, but they had no batteries in stock. Pipeline Tim strikes again!!

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