Apple has admitted that it has been slowing down older iPhones in order to preserve battery. The issues was first reported by Geekbench developer John Poole, in a blog post. Apple today confirmed that this is indeed a practice that was first started with iOS 10.2.1. The company said:
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.
Now, while Apple is admitting that it slows down older devices, it’s not actually admitting to planned obsolescence. Instead, by managing battery life, the company is apparently extending the overall life of its older smartphones.