Earlier this week, Apple, after an investigation by iFixit, was found to be throttling clock speed in a bid to extend longevity of older devices. On the Android side of the fence there’s been a few manufacturers who’ve advised they do not throttle old devices.

The issue at hand is that Apple has been caught throttling the clock speed on older iPhones to extend device longevity. The slow-down appears to be the result of a software update – iOS 10.2.1 – launched earlier this year which included a fix to resolve a shutdown issue in older iphones. The fix itself appears to have been to slow down phones in order to limit the draw on the battery, which was shutting down phones.

Apple has since completely acknowledged the slow down is intentional, but to their credit have also instituted a new battery replacement program. Under the program, eligible iPhone 6 (and later) phones can have their battery replaced for just $29 – a discount of $50, if their battery is degraded to the point of requiring the phone to slow down.

So, where do Android manufacturers stand? In statements to The Verge, and PhoneArena, Motorola, HTC, Samsung and LG have all advised they do not take part in this practice.

In a statement to The Verge, a HTC spokesperson said ‘designing phones to slow down their processor as their battery ages “is not something we do.”’ While a Motorola spokesperson said, ‘We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries’.

To PhoneArena, in response to the question of whether they slowed down older devices an LG spokesperson said ‘Never have, never will! We care what our customers think’. While Samsung said:

Product quality has been and will always be Samsung Mobile’s top priority. We ensure extended battery life of Samsung mobile devices through multi-layer safety measures, which include software algorithms that govern the battery charging current and charging duration. We do not reduce CPU performance through software updates over the lifecycles of the phone.

While there’s a lot of to’ing and fro’ing, it seems like a good technical fix on Apple’s part. The major problem seems to be that they forgot to tell anyone, so now it appears Apple have been caught red-handed at something that’s not quite nefarious, but probably should have been advertised.

Android manufacturers, at least those who answered the question are not on board with doing this but then again, their older phones aren’t shutting down due to older batteries requiring this fix.

Source: PhoneArena.
Via: TheVerge.
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

    Please let there be a Class Action, this is Deceptive Practices master class. Apple slowed their older products down without telling anyone. I’d love to know if before apple came clean, when customers come into ask if their is a problem with their phone as it slows down over time, if they are told apple slowed your phone down on purpose to save battery life (which would piss people off to be told they had been struggling along with a secretly crippled phone) or are were they just told they need a new battery with no mention of how that… Read more »

    Dean Rosolen

    I wonder if degraded/bad batteries are what’s causing the early shutdown of so many Nexus 6Ps.


    That’s exactly what it was

    Dean Rosolen

    The problem with what Apple did is that the the throttling (and its cause) wasn’t made obvious via a persistent system notification (if that’s even possible on iOS). Such a notification would alert the user to the degraded battery, allow them to back up their data and then contact Apple for a battery replacement.

    Also, those prices being quoted in the article are in USD. The AUD normal and discounted prices are $119 and $39 respectively.

    Chris Rowland

    There’s no reason why Apple, which owns the platform, the hardware and the operating system, couldn’t have dealt with this in software instead of hobbling the phones themselves. If the batteries are so degraded as to result in an undervolt situation which can destroy the hardware, why not notify the user BEFORE it becomes a problem, and if the hardware reaches a point at which it’s no longer safe to operate, refuse to operate and instruct the user to take their aging phone to an Apple store for a new battery? Eminently possible, but instead, Apple chose to “protect the… Read more »


    Many Android phones do not have this problem as they never get updated, nor do the manufacturers offer any type of battery replacement service.

    Damien Lobb

    That’s entirely incorrect! Samsung offers battery replacements and screen replacements here in Aus, cheaper than a 3rd party repair shop even. As for the updates, well that’s debatable, my S6 is running Nougat perfectly fine and I got it in April 2015. Many Android phones don’t have this problem because they don’t shutdown unexpectedly due to underpowered batteries and primitive power delivery undervolt protection.


    I wouldn’t be so generous in assessing Apple’s conduct and allowing apple off the hook.
    As a consumer i expect when my phone gets updates it’s performance should get better !
    , not worse.
    And if my phone seems somewhat sluggish , conveniently when there’s a new super fast model released ,
    the temptation to buy another very expensive model to replace my old no longer performing well slug will be greater .
    It is a bit easy to purposely strangle a phones performance and say when caught out , ooh sorry i forgot to mention it.

    Chris Rowland

    If I were an Apple customer, I’d be thoroughly pissed off to read that Apple purposely gimped my old phone because the battery was degrading. That said… we – as tech consumers – probably need to accept that an iPhone’s battery degrading after a year or two probably isn’t all that surprising and if the way Apple managed that was to slow the hardware down to extract more life … well then I can probably understand that. With sealed in batteries, though, Apple should -always- have had a cheaper battery replacement option for those who wanted to extend the life… Read more »

    Damien Lobb

    I think the bigger question is, why do older iPhone’s (even only from late 2015) have issues with shutdowns yet other phones from LG, Samsung and even older iPhone’s don’t seem to suffer from this issue. Was Apple asking too much of the smaller capacity batteries?


    Those phones had the issue less than 12 months old… There is more to this as Apple is hiding something. I remember a friends phone switching off at 40 to 30 % rather than fix the hardware they hobbled the device to save themselves $$$