back to article That was fast... unlike old iPhones: Apple sued for slowing down mobes

One day after Apple acknowledged that it has been downclocking the CPUs in older iPhones to prevent sudden shutdowns from battery exhaustion, the first lawsuit has arrived. Filed in the Northern District of the State of Illinois on Thursday, the complaint aspires to become a class action for the supposedly thousands of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "To provide a better experience to customers"

    You made the phone worse in order to IMPROVE the experience? In what alternate reality do you fekheads live to make that in any way plausible?

    "Your car is old & the brakes worn way down, so in order to make it a more pleasant ride we're going to artificially limit the speed to only that of a one legged horse. Enjoy!"

    Uh huh, and now you can go stick your head in a pig.

    1. erikj

      Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

      ...and if I plop down $89 (or whatever) to replace the battery in my iPhone 6, would its CPU still get throttled down just because it's an older model?

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: "f I plop down $89 (or whatever"

        Really? About x5 the cost of a battery for my phone.

      2. Max Watson

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        @erikj No it wouldn't because the throttling is only when the battery peak voltage is diminished

        1. erikj

          Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

          Thanks very much. Not sure why I deserved 10 downvotes for an honest question. Oh wait, it's El Reg.

      3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        "...and if I plop down $89 (or whatever) to replace the battery in my iPhone 6, would its CPU still get throttled down just because it's an older model?"

        No. With a new battery the CPU then returns to full speed operation.

        1. Goobertee

          Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

          The explanation I read said the updates were changing the sequencing of the operations, not that the speed of the processor. Rather than have multiple high-energy consuming operations happening (essentially) simultaneously, space them out over time so the peak battery drain is diminished.

          If that doesn't change based on the capacity of the battery, there won't be any speeding up with a new battery.

      4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        IT Angle

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        Does this mean an older iphone works faster when plugged in to charge or does that not make a difference with an old battery?

        1. fbkevy

          Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

          Can someone with knowledge of this answer this? If a plugged in phone has no technical reason to throttle then Apple has no plausible defense.

    2. ilmari

      Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

      What's preferable, phone unexpectedly shutting down without warning, or phone slowing down to avoid sudden shutdown?

      The big issue is of course that the user wasn't notified in either case, on any brand of phone (androids also suffer from thus when their battery gets old, sudden shutdowns despite having 30% left).

      On the other hand, it's not an easy problem to solve. Unexpected shutdown means unexpected, even if there was an algorithm trying to collect data about the operating state of the cpu and all its peripherals, and recording battery voltages, when unexpected shutdown hits you lose the data. The hardware shuts down to protect both the battery (since they become unstable from operating at low voltage) and the CPU, ram and storage from corrupting data due to insufficient voltage.

      AMD have a "clock stretching" feature in some of their CPUs, if the voltage inside the CPU drops the frequency slows down. It's mostly meant to allow them to operate with lower voltages and save power by not needing as big "safety margin" in voltage. Would be interesting to see something similar in mobile SOCs!

      It's kinda remarkable that battery meters are still so bad at tracking the capabilities of an aging battery. On one hand, it's a kinda neglected area where manufacturers choose the cheapest component. On the other hand, it's a difficult problem! Batteries aged in standard cycle testing behave differently to batteries aged in real life. Batteries in real life age differently depending on how they're used and charged.

      What do I mean by aged differently? As is well known, a battery's voltage sags when you put a load on it. The bigger the load, the more the voltage drops. The amount of drop is, for most part, a linear function of the load. When the battery is new, the sag is so small it makes no difference. The amount of sag can be described as internal resistance. More internal resistance means more sag.

      On a new battery, the internal resistance stays nearly constant regardless if the battery is 100% or 20% full. Towards empty it becomes a bit higher. With an ideally cycled and aged battery, the capacity is lower, and the internal resistance is higher, but the internal resistance is still around the same order of magnitude regardless the battery is full or empty.

      With batteries aged in real life conditions, where the battery might've spent a lot of time at 100%, a lot of time at 0%, a lot of time in heat, etc, the results on internal resistance will be different. The internal resistance might sharply rise as the battery discharges. From the initial situation with a fresh battery having a flat internal resistance curve vs state of charge, to having a inclined straight line describing an increased resistance at empty, to having exponentially increasing resistance towards empty.

      Why does this all matter? Because currently there's no battery meter chip that can take into account anything except the "internal resistance is the same regardless of how full battery is" situation. Most chips don't account for internal resistance at all.

      So from an engineer's perspective, if Apple is actually tracking actual battery performance and managing to make their system adapt to having a smaller and smaller power budget, that's kinda impressive. Makes me glad someone is finally paying attention to adding more sophistication to battery management systems!

      Of course, they could just have put in a battery twice as big and they wouldn't have had issues with shrinking power budget for the phone's "lifetime", and they wouldn't need to consider aging battery.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        " it's not an easy problem to solve"

        How is it not an easy problem to solve? When the OS notices that the battery is getting too tired, it notifies the use of the problem. The user can then remedy the situation in the manner they prefer or ignore it -- but at least they know.

        Problem solved.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        Yes, decent piece of OS functionality from Apple, but a bit silly to keep quiet about it.

    3. Valerion

      Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

      [i]"Your car is old & the brakes worn way down, so in order to make it a more pleasant ride we're going to artificially limit the speed to only that of a one legged horse. Enjoy!"[/i]

      Actually, reducing the allowed speed of cars with warn out brakes is a pretty good idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        No it isn't. Excessively worn brake pads can fail catastrophically in an emergency situation, reducing their stopping power to zero.

        If brakes are worn they should be replaced. Many cars provide a warning light for this purpose, although many of these only operate on one wheel.

        1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

          Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

          Yes it is a good idea!!

          How can you say it is not? I guess you misunderstood what the poster you were responding was saying?

          If your car detects worn brake pads, then the maximum speed you are allowed to go should drop for safety, until you get the pads changed. It is an absolutely excellent idea and much better than here is a light you can ignore, which is only attached to one wheel.

          I don't see why you think adding additional safety measures to the car is a bad idea?

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

            i would prefer full speed and shorter battery. well, actually i would probably prefer then option of throttling over stealth throttling.

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

            "How can you say it is not?"

            It's a terrible idea unless the car also informs you about why it's limiting your speed.

            1. ThomH Silver badge

              Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

              It's a good idea to limit the processing speed if failing to do so is liable to cause the phone to shut down. Slower overall processing beats no processing.

              It is a terrible idea to do that without telling the consumer and, when the consumer comes to one of your shops to diagnose their slower phone, not tell them that they can just spend X on a new battery, instead recommending that they spend ~10X on a new phone.

              I feel like what Apple did on a technical level is correct; what Apple did in terms of communication and sales is a pretty terrible thing. It's easy to believe that a lot of people will have given Apple money that they would not have, had Apple provided the missing information. Which feels like valid grounds for a lawsuit to me.

          3. Kiwi Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

            If your car detects worn brake pads, then the maximum speed you are allowed to go should drop for safety, until you get the pads changed.

            A couple of flaws in your logic - and yes, I agree that measures should be taken for many drivers to prevent them driving.

            However.

            You're more likely to need your brakes in an emergency in town and in traffic than you are on the roads. And you're more likely to need them because someone isn't paying attention/driving to the conditions, eg coming towards a line of stopped traffic at speed or someone going through an intersection where they didn't have the right of way. On the open road you have less such risks (though as your speed is higher if something goes wrong...) So limiting the speed below highway speeds won't necessarily help anyone.

            Also, until the actual active surface is down to very close to nothing, brake pads function just as well as with new pads. It's only when the active surface is no longer covering the full width of the pad that they stop.

            A lot of people who think they know what they're doing would actually try to disable a speed limiter.

            What might work better for some men is a warning that makes diminishing comments about the size of their genetalia or their driving skills or something to shame them into actually doing something about getting their car serviced. Given the intelligence levels of many drivers I'm not sure even that would work.

            And sadly stupid people would drive on motorways etc even if their car was limited to walking speed :( Think of what happens when someone stops or drives slowly on a high-speed section of road. (Perhaps while they're driving slow the car could also flash a big sign talking about the driving being too stupid to get their car serviced or having a small dick or something...)

            But have an upvote - at least you're thinking of possible ways to help keep the roads safer and your idea may help save some lives.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

              "On the open road you have less such risks (though as your speed is higher if something goes wrong...) So limiting the speed below highway speeds won't necessarily help anyone."

              Thing is, when you need it on the highway (such as a median-jumper or something falling onto the road), YOU NEED IT!

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

          If brakes are worn they should be replaced. Many cars provide a warning light for this purpose, although many of these only operate on one wheel.

          One wheel should be fine so long as it's one that has a higher level of wear (so say 2 of your pads aren't already badly worn when the light comes on).

          I've seen a system which had a wire embedded in the pads, and as they wore they'd eventually break the wire, which would cause the warning light to come on. It's a fairly simple design.

    4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

      Right in the gulliver.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

      This is why you don't send in an engineer to do a designer's job. They throttled the processor speed in order to prevent the phones from shutting down even with a full battery. It's far worse for the user experience if your phone dies without warning than if its a tad slower. Think like a user not a benchmarker. Clock speeds don't matter when the phone is off.

      That said, I think they should have let everyone know about the issue and offer a battery replacement at a reduced rate.

  2. Pomgolian
    Flame

    That probably explains..

    ..why my five year old iPad is like a snail on the tortoise's back.

    And another thing: If the battery degradation is so great as to warrant this, why not fit a bigger fecking battery to start with, rather than trying to make every new model even slimmer than the one before. I for one wouldn't mind an extra 5mm thickness in exchange for a battery that pumps out the power for 5 years. It's a premium product and should be bloody well engineered like one.

    1. Field Commander A9

      Re: That probably explains..

      Because your daughter wants a even shinier new iPhone every year and needed a excuse to retire the old one.

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: That probably explains..

      Why not a battery that is user replaceable?

      Oh wait, it's Apple.

      form over function.

      1. silks

        Re: That probably explains..

        Samsung's phones also have batteries that aren't user replaceable, it's not just Apple.

        1. Jimboom

          Re: That probably explains..

          Samsungs batteries were originally replaceable. All the way up until the S5, then they followed Apples example.

          I for one am saddened by this as if a phone is misbehaving it is a lot more satisfiying to remove the battery then it is to push a button.

        2. Tabor

          Re: That probably explains..

          Apple does it, Samsung does it, and a lot of other “premium” smartphones. But I do think Apple was the first, and the rest followed. See also : headphone jack, laptops.

          A few millimeters thicker and they can make it user replaceable... weight wouldn’t change much. but then the smartphone market would probably collapse.

        3. Peter Mount

          Re: That probably explains..

          Yes these days they are, but my trusty Note 3 has a replaceable battery & even now I've yet to replace it (the battery).

          1. PiltdownMan

            Re: That probably explains..

            Yep, bought my Note 3 on release day 4 plus years ago, battery has just died after 4yrs and 2 months. £8 for new battery, fitted in seconds.

            Phone still going strong in my son's hands now. I've stupidly bought a Galaxy S8+ (Nice, realy nice phone, although I dropped and SMASHED (not cracked) screen within two months. It's so easy to drop, it's in a full wrap-around rubberised case now. SAFE!

            I think I'm gonna get a simple feature phone next time. I'll be happy with just calls, texts & email on my mobile. I prefer a 7" tablet for everything else. (I'm an old git, as advised by my User-Name.)

            RESULT!

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: That probably explains..

            "Yes these days they are, but my trusty Note 3 has a replaceable battery & even now I've yet to replace it (the battery)."

            The Note 4 was the last Note to have a user-replaceable battery (I use them for that very reason). The Note 5 and S6 were the first high-end models to seal the battery.

        4. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: That probably explains..

          Sony too, but at least when Sony did it, they justified this by making the phone waterproof.

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: That probably explains..

            Like the iPhone 7, 7+, 8, 8+ and X?

            1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

              Re: That probably explains..

              If this was in response to the waterproof note, Sony introduced it with the Xperia Z. Release February 2013, vs iPhone 7 et al released 3 and half years later. But yes by all means they've made them water resistant now.

          2. Kiwi Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: That probably explains..

            Sony too, but at least when Sony did it, they justified this by making the phone waterproof.

            That's a poor justification (for any brand, not attacking Sony here!).

            I've had waterproof toys with replaceable batteries since I was a kid back in the 70s. If 1970s technology could take metal contacts through plastic or rubber (or wires for that matter) and also seal the battery compartment so the batteries should stay dry and if some tot hadn't closed the battery door properly then the insides would still stay dry, I'd think by today we could still do the same just as cheaply and easily.

            You can have a feature of a "replaceable rear cover" again which the user can remove to have a battery underneath, and the battery is in a totally sealed bay. With the tiniest bit of thought you can work out how to stop water seepage reaching and shorting the battery contacts.

            It's bloody simple decades-old technology that requires only seconds of thought to do. Phone companies saying "it's so we can waterproof our phones" are either showing that they lack this basic engineering skill or they're showing that they'd rather lie to the customer than give them a chance to change out batteries if they want.

            (Though why you'd want to take your phone swimming with you I'll never understand. NOW GET ORF MY LORRRRN!)

          3. Paul

            Re: That probably explains..

            Problem with sealed-in battery with water-proofed device is it's expensive and difficult to replace the battery and you usually lose the water-proofing too.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: That probably explains..

              Problem with sealed-in battery with water-proofed device is it's expensive and difficult to replace the battery and you usually lose the water-proofing too.

              Doesn't have to be that way. We've had the ability to waterproof small devices with child-replaceable battery compartments for some 40 years. Maybe more.

            2. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: That probably explains..

              What about the S5? It's waterproof AND has a removable cover.

        5. unwarranted triumphalism

          Re: That probably explains..

          It's still Apple's fault though.

        6. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: That probably explains..

          "Samsung's phones also have batteries that aren't user replaceable, it's not just Apple."

          ]Yep, and it's truly awful design decision no matter what manufacturer does it.

        7. Sleep deprived

          Re: That probably explains..

          My girlfriend's J1 from Samsung has a replaceable battery...

      2. MrXavia

        Re: That probably explains..

        Make it easier to replace the batteries and then have a message saying battery has problems, please replace it as soon as possible and the phone will run slow until you have done this..

        Not hard to do....

      3. Lusty Silver badge

        Re: That probably explains..

        "Why not a battery that is user replaceable?"

        Why would that make any difference? Apple would charge the exact same amount for a user replaceable battery as they do for the replacement service (which only takes an hour in store). All that would change is your phone would have a removable back, which as I recall would regularly break on most phone models leading to your battery ending up on the floor.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: That probably explains..

          Or, you could do like other Apple owners that have half a brain, find a trustworthy independent repair shop and get it serviced there. Faster, cheaper, no lineups.*

          Plus, there is a hint in user replaceable

          Funny how the world seems divided into Apple haters-no-matter-what and clueless fanbois who never hold them accountable for anything.

          * one positive with Apple's market share and model range is that I've always been quoted much lower prices on iOS screen replacements than for other brands.

        2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

          Re: That probably explains..

          removable back, which as I recall would regularly break on most phone models leading to your battery ending up on the floor.

          Yes, until about 10 months ago I had a phone with a replaceable battery under a flimsy-looking thin plastic back. The phone fell quite a few times, the plastic, and sometimes the battery, separated from the rest of the phone and ended up on the floor, but never broke. Putting the battery and the plastic back into their proper places resulted in perfectly working phone in 100% of the cases.

          replacement service (which only takes an hour in store)

          You don't value an hour of your time very highly, do you? The advantage of that flimsy easily separable plastic back was that walking into any odd mobile phone shop wherever you happen to be in the street, swapping the battery, paying (only for the battery, no labour) by cash or card, and walking out of the shop with a perfectly working phone took all of a couple of minutes. That's as opposed to a special trip to a lab or service center + "1 hour" + paying for the technician doing his job.

      4. macjules Silver badge

        Re: That probably explains..

        It IS user replaceable, just that you have to be a qualified engineer user to do it.

    3. Max Watson

      Re: That probably explains..

      A bigger battery won't overcome the technical degradation of lithium ion batteries. Also no one wants a heavier phone than needed

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: That probably explains..

        "A bigger battery won't overcome the technical degradation of lithium ion batteries. Also no one wants a heavier phone than needed"

        The Sony Z5C is contemporaneous with the iPhone 6s, and has a similar size screen. The weights are the same within a few grammes. The Sony has a battery 50% larger than that in the iPhone.

        Of course, putting in a bigger battery will, other things being equal, reduce the rate of wear and give a bigger operating margin.

        Would you like to reconsider your post?

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: That probably explains..

        I don't much care about battery weight, and the last phone I had with a removable battery was amazing - it's a feature I really miss.

        Given Blackberry have discontinued monthly security updates for the Priv, I may have to look at a Moto phone to stick a Moto keyboard mod on, hopefully with a better battery too.

    4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: That probably explains..

      "If the battery degradation is so great as to warrant this, why not fit a bigger fecking battery to start with..."

      Because that would only change the use case, not the outcome. With a bigger battery, users would likely do more - leaving it streaming music, not switching on low-power mode, keeping the brightness up high and so on. Wouldn't change the fact that the number of charge cycles is finite, and as battery performance decreases more and more technological patches are necessary to maintain usability.

      1. Steve Hersey

        Or, shocking thought...

        Apple could have derated the batteries properly so that the phones would continue to work as they -- predictably -- aged. Apple being Apple, it's not like profit margins on iThings are razor-thin, so they *could* certainly afford to do a proper engineering job on power management and get $5 less profit per unit.

        Every electronic device I've helped to develop in a long career has gone through worst-case analyses and has included design margins to make sure it works reliably over its life, and this always includes power management. If Apple's iCrap won't work with batteries that aren't new any more, it's because Management isn't setting realistic goals for the engineering teams, and that means that Corners Will Be Cut.

        1. tim292stro

          Re: Or, shocking thought...

          You are presuming they didn't consider the operating life. If a highly technical firm like Apple has to slow down the phone due to admittedly engineering-understood battery limitations in models as recently as the iPhone 6, doesn't that elude that they they expected the product life to be short? They could have managed the battery life issue better following experience gained from iPhone <6. Either way I see Apple getting their @$$ handed to them. The lawyer will ask the question "What is the product design life?" No matter how they answer that question, Apples loses IMHO. "Oh it's two years maximum" = PR disaster as people would be finding our from the horse's mouth they are paying nearly a grand for a throwaway product - doesn't matter if it's made of gold if you're throwing it away after a few years, only the upper 0.01% can afford to do that on a regular basis (ah, thanks Instagram for showing us that). Or "It's expected to last a minimum of 5 years" = product defect = payout + PR disaster. There are basically two ways how that can be answered "We are shady/dirty" or "We are incompetent" with various mixtures of those two answers in the middle.

          Personally I think it'll end up that people will be told that any phone only has a design and market life of 2 years. Screens, cameras, cellular technology, Bluetooth revision, connectors, etc... which all make the foundation of a mobile device - change too fast and too frequently for a product ecosystem to really exist around a single design anymore. An $800 phone sounds terrible, unless you are having a cell phone company subsidize the phone with higher contract costs spread over two years, at which time you'd be able to upgrade to the next device while continuing your carrier lock-in, a carrier that gets high enough turn over they can use the excuse that the minority to hold on to their old stuff are no longer supported as they are running obsolete radios... Causing the rest of their customers to have to re-buy-in. I'm not optimistic enough about the world to believe that companies aren't collaborating on this stuff off the record outside the reach of regulators, there's just too much money at stake for there not to be anything underhanded going on IMHO.

        2. Tomato Krill

          Re: Or, shocking thought...

          "and that means that Corners Will Be Cut."

          Well Samsung know better than to copy that again at least..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That probably explains..

        With a larger battery it could be charged to a lower limit, giving the phone the same run time but drastically increasing the batteries life expectancy, Charging LiPo batteries (what are in these phones) to around 75-80 and not letting them drop too low in voltage makes their life far longer.

        But then when this is found out people will then complain that they don't get to fully use their phones battery, so it should be an option that you disable with a big warning that i will reduce the number of charges greatly if done.

    5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Pomgolian .... Wrong... Re: That probably explains..

      There are two things happening...

      1) Moore's law which is still holds true... (to a point)

      2) Bloatware.

      And product design...

      Please don't conflate these with what is happening...

      As newer, more powerful CPUs are created, more features are added because the phones can do more. Your older phones are having a harder time running with the latest versions of software because of their slower, less powerful CPUs. Also, the more horsepower, the more likely that sloppy code works well enough and added features that you really don't want aka bloatware...

      And then there's product design that wants slimmer cooler look and feel. If you don't believe me... if two cars cost the same... one ran like a tank but looked ugly, or a sleek model that does a better than good enough job... which do you choose?

      NOW HAVING SAID ALL OF THAT.... APPLE WILL LOSE OR SETTLE THE LAWSUIT...

      All of the issues that you raise are true of all PC tech products. (see above)

      However, the issue is that they are throttling you because your battery is supposedly starting to fail. Because of the product design, you are unable to DIY battery replacement, thus you have to pay for the service time in addition to the battery. (and the warranty that it was done right and the phone sealed back up properly...) So you can purchase a new battery. Much cheaper than a new phone.

      At the same time... if you do purchase a new battery, your phone will still be throttled. So how are you protected? You're not. There is no way for Apple to know if you've replaced your battery or not therefore your phone will still fail.

      A judge, or a jury will see thru their argument.

      If they didn't do this... you would still have a choice and of course many would go to CPR (a third party phone repair service) and replace the phone battery. Or you could upgrade your phone because your older phone would be less capable of running the newer apps that you want to have or your kids say are 'must have' apps.

      (You could go to Apple, and it would be smarter because some of these places use cheap knockoff parts that well... could cause your phone to explode or catch fire. ... re. USB charging cables (remember that fiasco?) ... )

      Because Apple doesn't allow this path... they will lose the case and you can bet that if you bought a new iPhone... you'll get some sort of credit at the apple store, or a coupon/rebate... all while the lawyers get millions in a class action lawsuit.

      IMHO, Apple and others in the Silicone [sic] Valley need to wake up and get a reality check.

      1. Alumoi

        Re: Pomgolian .... Wrong... That probably explains..

        if two cars cost the same... one ran like a tank but looked ugly, or a sleek model that does a better than good enough job... which do you choose?

        The tank, thank you very much. I'm no snowflake to give a shit about what other snowflakes think about my car as long as it is comfy and protects me from others.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Pomgolian .... Wrong... That probably explains..

          if two cars cost the same... one ran like a tank but looked ugly, or a sleek model that does a better than good enough job... which do you choose?

          The tank, thank you very much. I'm no snowflake to give a shit about what other snowflakes think about my car as long as it is comfy and protects me from others.

          Actually, given the number of SUV's on the road, it looks like all the sissy little snowflakes are choosing "tank" rather than something else.

          (I personally chose based on function - car needs to be a stationwagon or something that can tow stuff, personal transport needs to be a bike - I encourage friends to buy a decent station wagon so I have one available if I ever need the capacity and then save MY money to buy me a nice bike :) )

    6. mr.K

      Re: That probably explains..

      It is not a premium product... Well, if you define premium as something expensive that people want, yes, then it is. But neither of those two qualities are determined on how well made or useful a product is. Humans are exceptionally bad at assessing the value of something, we are however social and thus cheat by assessing what value other humans put on things. Why money works, marketing is more vital than engineering and capitalism doesn't really work (not saying that anything else works either).

      So, premium in the sense that they are good at marketing, but not premium as in they are good at engineering.

      MrK's law: The quality of a product is inversely proportional to the number of colours on the box.

    7. Apriori

      Re: That probably explains..

      I am sure that when the focus groups were asked What do you want most in a smartphone?", they all replied "A very thin phone" -NOT! Actually most iPhones from the 6 onwards are not actually 7mm, but something like 15 or 20mm, because if you want the thing to run for for a business day (that's about 10-12 hours) you will need an external battery case which more than doubles the thickness (and adds several layers).

      And don't forget the "wet bar of soap" finish, which virtually guarantees the thing gets dropped regularly - unless you put a case on it.

      A decent iPhone would be something like 12mm thick with a decent, non-slippery, scratch resistant finish. The battery would last something like 36 hours with reasonable use.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Haven't had this problem at all with my 6S. Probably could test it if I took it out of the bottom draw and stuck a SIM in it, but that's not gonna happen.

    1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

      Probably on a sliding scale

      I would have thought the degradation is scaled according to various factors, CPU model, phone model, battery age, battery discharge rate. They can't just put in a 50% cpu slow down on all models, the really old ones would be dead in the water. So a 6S might lose say 10%-15% CPU, the 5 might lose 15-20% and so on.

      1. Max Watson

        Re: Probably on a sliding scale

        That's not how this works. The throttling is purely based on the battery ability to provide peak voltage demands.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      iPhone 6s in a drawer

      If you hate it so much why don't you sell it? There are people out there who will pay good hard cash for them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iPhone 6s in a drawer

        >If you hate it so much why don't you sell it?

        It's probably a corporate supplied paperweight.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      It depends on the number of charge/discharge cycles, plus presumably some manufacturing variation on the batteries they source.

      Someone who is a heavy phone user who runs it near empty every day is going to age the phone a lot faster than a more moderate user. I usually charge my phone every other day so the battery in my 25 1/2 month old 6S plus I traded in last month was in the same shape as a heavy user's battery would be after only one year.

      As for a "sliding scale" it sounds like they knock down the speed the weaker the battery gets, so it isn't a matter of this model gets X% slowdown and this gets Y%. If you read Poole's article there are multiple peaks shown for the same model, which represent greater and greater amounts of battery wear.

  4. Charles 9 Silver badge

    The fact that batteries get worse over time should be a clue that batteries should be not be considered safe to embed into a device (that and the fire and safety risks) and therefore must be user-replaceable (without tools) in all devices that use them.

    1. Max Watson

      There are many reasons the battery is not easy replace. Creating a user serviceable battery compartment wastes valuable space inside the unit. The battery itself is usually a custom shape for greater efficiency. And warranties are harder to accidentally void by not being able to easily swap the battery with a non-standard replacement

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        "The battery itself is usually a custom shape for greater efficiency."

        Not to mention the waterproofing. My S5 had a replaceable battery and the waterproofing was a little rubber seal on a clip on back panel. I used the phone in the rain but didn't really trust it around more water. The S7 has a fixed battery, and the waterproofing is considerably more solid.

        That said, I'd be happy with a slightly thicker phone and a screw on back if I could change the battery. A fixed battery might make sense in a cheap little WiFi media sharer, but in a phone in the £500+ bracket it takes the piss somewhat - built in obsolescence...

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "There are many reasons the battery is not easy replace. Creating a user serviceable battery compartment wastes valuable space inside the unit. The battery itself is usually a custom shape for greater efficiency. And warranties are harder to accidentally void by not being able to easily swap the battery with a non-standard replacement"

        All extremely lame (and should be illegal) excuses.

        Space should be a secondary concern to safety. If you must be bigger, so be it. Just tell the customer the law (fire safety regulations) doesn't allow you to be too thin, just as you can't buy a new car without seatbelts anymore. Ignoring safety considerations can be considered Darwin Award candidacy.

        As for custom shapes, that's just cramming combined with Planned Obsolescence.

        As for voiding the warranty, you can't fix Stupid. Those who care will take care no matter what it takes. Those who don't would probably find a way to run it over regardless.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        "Creating a user serviceable battery compartment wastes valuable space"

        Interesting definition of "waste" there. In my opinion, utilizing space to provide useful and desirable functionality is the exact opposite of "waste".

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      "The fact that batteries get worse over time should be a clue that batteries should be not be considered safe to embed into a device..."

      The hundreds of millions of devices with problem-free embedded LiIon cells would beg to differ with this statement.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "The hundreds of millions of devices with problem-free embedded LiIon cells would beg to differ with this statement."

        Ever heard the phrase "One bad apple spoils the bunch"? All those millions of working devices mean squat if you happen to draw the million-to-one that explodes and burns you.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Ever heard the phrase "One bad apple spoils the bunch"? All those millions of working devices mean squat if you happen to draw the million-to-one that explodes and burns you.

          There's a slim chance that reading a message on El Reg could trigger a stress response in your brain that could lead to a stroke or aneurysm or some other instantly fatal even. Only one in several hundred million chance maybe but that's too high a risk right?

          Also one in a few thousand electronic devices suffer faults that lead to them catching fire. You should turn all electronics off just to be on the same side.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Yes, you should, because WHEN (not IF) that one-in-a-million device (and remember, they ACTUALLY occur nine times out of ten) goes up, there WILL be a recall notice meaning you should be turning it in for one done right for a change.

            The threat of a lawsuit, recall notice, and bad press should be enough to encourage good design, but it seems cheaper these days to settle. Sounds like the penalties need changing...

  5. asdfasdfasdf2015

    benchmark the batteries

    charge the batteries to full and discharge at maximum power until the battery hits 30%. rinse and repeat a few times to get an idea how good the battery is. if the battery sucks, make them get a new one.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Windows

    Planned obsolescence

    So by this standard, I should just throw my 5S in the bin....

    1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

      Re: Planned obsolescence

      Well that's want Apple want you to do, however have you personally felt the phone is more sluggish with each revision? Most people probably haven't notice, I know that's not the point and I'm not apologising for Apple as it was shitty thing to do to customers. However people are losing their marbles without thinking first, let's actually see the evidence and the figures first.

      I suspect a patch will be released that allows you to decided if you want this CPU "feature" enabled or not.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Planned obsolescence

        Well that's want Apple want you to do,

        But there is always a risk that you will go over to Android where everything is sweetness and light in the garden of Eden. (yes, I'm being sarcastic).

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Only a fool would throw it in a bin

      You can still sell a 5S for about $100, and it would be refurbished with a new battery for a lot less than the $79 Apple charges. Or you could replace the battery yourself - I've done it for a couple friend's phones over the years, it is pretty simple. Perhaps not something an average person could handle, but something the average Reg reader could easily handle.

    3. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: Planned obsolescence

      >I should just throw my 5S in the bin

      Here in France you take old/broken electrical goods back to the place you bought them (or the municipal dump) for correct disposal. ;-)

      ;-)

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Planned obsolescence

        Here in France you take old/broken electrical goods back to the place you bought them (or the municipal dump) for correct disposal.

        A shame you can't do that with your politicans..

    4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Planned obsolescence

      "So by this standard, I should just throw my 5S in the bin...."

      Replacing the battery on a 5S is a piece of piss. Replacing the battery in my son's RC car remote is harder.

      And for an out-of-warranty 5S, there's no point paying for original Apple. A decent eBay battery will cost you $15 or so and your phone will be back to full speed in no time.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Planned obsolescence

        "Replacing the battery on a 5S is a piece of piss. Replacing the battery in my son's RC car remote is harder."

        I'd like to see the picture of such a remote given every RC remote I've seen has a slide-off door you can access without tools. Even the car itself usually has a no-tools door.

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Planned obsolescence

      But the 5c (stuck on iOS 10.3.3) probably isn't affected...

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Planned obsolescence

        They added this in iOS 10.2, so the 5c probably is affected. Even if it isn't, it would still be affected by short battery life and eventually random shutdowns when the battery gets worn down enough. For what little it costs in terms of time and money to replace the battery yourself, it would be worth it to give another couple years of life to a 5c.

        Even if you don't need something as old as a 5c as a phone any longer it will work great as an iPod, or as a toy for a child to play games on that you don't have to be worried about getting dropped one too many times and the screen breaking.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not smart

    There are hard coded performance tables. If your phone is x months old, reduce CPU speed by y.

    If your battery is outperforming its predicted performance, tough, its time to upgrade to anew iPhone...

    My iPhone slowed down drastically immediately after installing an iOS update, and battery life DID NOT improve..

    1. Max Watson

      Re: Not smart

      False, the cpu throttling is not based on age at all.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Not smart

      "There are hard coded performance tables. If your phone is x months old, reduce CPU speed by y.

      If your battery is outperforming its predicted performance, tough, its time to upgrade to anew iPhone..."

      Utter bollocks. Go pimp your trash on Reddit where idiots might believe you.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Genius.

    Now all the people who bought second hand or didn't upgrade will now be getting battery replacements from Apple. I bet they recently upped battery production.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      That's what this lawsuit is all about - and they do have a point. It's not about whether Apple throttled the iPhone or not, or even whether they told people they were doing it; it's about whether it was made clear to punters that they could restore performance with a battery replacement rather than having to buy a new phone.

  9. Milton Silver badge

    Not a welcome opinion

    I know this is not something many people want to hear, but ...

    If you pay about three times as much for a phone than is necessary, largely because it's a status symbol, knowing perfectly well that without the slightest technical or engineering justification its battery cannot be simply swapped by you; not to mention that it will also lack the simple expandability and versatility of a uSD slot, again with no good reason; and for which the $23 actual difference between various models' storage levels is charged to you in a $200 increment ... well, you get what you deserve, don't you?

    There's an almost infinite range of phones out there costing far less, offering greater versatility, reliability and expandability, with batteries you can swap in 10 seconds flat, with operating systems *not* designed to steal from you, with a value-for-money proposition that makes the iPhone look like a lump of pointless jewellery—

    —but you'll continue to buy massively overpriced Apple shinies so that, even when the battery has yet again died, you can leave it displayed face down on the desk so that everyone knows *you* paid out of your arse for it.

    In sum: Apple get away with this kind of reprehensible, dishonest, avarcious behaviour because people slavishly buy into their marketing propaganda and simply *have* to be in the herd.

    You get mugged because you keep asking for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a welcome opinion

      Can you let me know what these mythical phones are?

      I've a work supplied 2016 Samsung stuck on a 2015 OS and a early 2017 patch level.

      Apple may slow down you phone, but at least they don't forget it exists 10 seconds after they have made it.

    2. MonkeyNuts.Com

      Re: Not a welcome opinion

      Chillax Milton

      Sent from my iPhone 7 Plus Jet Black 256GB #Boom

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a welcome opinion

      There's an almost infinite range of phones out there costing far less, offering greater versatility, reliability and expandability

      But are they as secure?

      I treat android like windows, nothing goes on them that is worth taking.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a welcome opinion

      @Milton

      Yeah - I don't really care how much my iPhone cost. It wasn't particularly expensive and I'll upgrade well before the battery wears out. I take the same approach to my TV, house and car. It turns out that an Audi is three times as expensive compared to a Nissan, but ultimately does the same thing.

      Ironically it pays off, as I seem to always be listening to friends complaining about their problems with their 20% "cheaper" purchases.

      What exactly are you saving £200 a phone for (heck - I've spent more on restaurants in a week)? Why not just get a better paying job if you're that skint? Or maybe don't get a smart phone at all, if that seems like a lot of money to you?

    5. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Not a welcome opinion

      "If you pay about three times as much for a phone than is necessary, largely because it's a status symbol, knowing perfectly well that without the slightest technical or engineering justification its battery cannot be simply swapped by you; not to mention that it will also lack the simple expandability and versatility of a uSD slot, again with no good reason; and for which the $23 actual difference between various models' storage levels is charged to you in a $200 increment ... well, you get what you deserve, don't you?"

      Oh pish, dearest Milton. Any purchase of a luxury product is a combination of the commoditised cost, the perceived value-add layer, and the emotional desire component. Apple charges for perceived value-add and emotional desire, and gets away with it because people generally actually like the value for money (including emotional) that they get for it. It's not wrong, and it's not stupid just because you don't agree with it. I personally like a commodity kitchen (simple, no frills, gets the job done) and a luxury phone. Others may prefer this the other way round; it's every customers' individual choices and preferences at work.

      And the $23 price you point at? Double pish. Integrated memory fast enough to not bottleneck the processor AND designed to last the life of the product being intensively read/written to every single day is not cheap. Certainly not $23 cheap.

    6. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Not a welcome opinion

      "There's an almost infinite range of phones out there costing far less, offering greater versatility, reliability and expandability, with batteries you can swap in 10 seconds flat, with operating systems *not* designed to steal from you, "

      Phones with operating systems not designed to steal from me?

      What is this mythical OS?

      Surely you do not mean Android, for it is all about stealing from you. Your personal data is worth a lot, and Google just walks right up and takes it if it wants to, whether you approve of it or not. Taking something of value that does not belong to you without the consent of the person you're taking it from is theft. Google thrives on making off with your personal data, and the fine print in a 20 page EULA that the user may have clicked through doesn't change that. Google, Microsoft, Apple, and everyone else who writes such legalese are well aware that no one reads that stuff-- they count on it. It gives them an "out" if anyone gets testy about having their personal data stolen, but it's so long and technical that no regular user is ever going to try to read it. It's the little game they play... "It's not theft! You agreed to it!" It may work to keep them from having serious legal trouble, but other than that, it acts like a duck and it quacks like a duck (a duck being theft here).

      South Park did a show about this, combining critique of the EULA "we can do anything, you agreed" bit with a parody of one of the least deserving movies to ever be made, Human Centipede. If you have a strong stomach, search for Human CentIpad on the web, and don't say I didn't warn you.

  10. muttley

    Lack of transparency

    Engineering and user experience wise, this is a neat idea IMO.

    What's gripping people's shit is the lack of notification the throttling is occurring.

    As for the lawsuit, well, if there's a possibility of filing, one would be incompetent NOT to eh...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only issue I have...

    Is there's nothing to say that your battery is worn out - my Macbook Pro shows "cycles", "new capacity" and "current capacity" so that I can tell when I need a new battery (last one was replaced after five years of daily use).

    I would much rather my phone ran a bit slower than kept shutting down when a processing spike caused the battery voltage to drop below the low battery protection threshold (which is there to stop the thing turning into a fire-ball - lithium cells are dangerous when under charged as well as over charged).

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "...chums water"

    ...churns water, Shirley?

    1. Spacedinvader
      Headmaster

      Re: "...chums water"

      chum2/tʃʌm/

      noun

      chopped fish and other material thrown overboard as angling bait.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

        Re: "...chums water"

        I recline corrected.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "...chums water"

        "chopped fish and other material thrown overboard as angling bait."

        Chum is also used to attract predatory fish...like sharks (now you see why the term was used).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes you wonder

    Given that Mrs Anonymous Coward just bought a new iPad because she felt the old one was slow and unresponsive whether a battery change would have given it new life.

    Mind you she didn't try resetting the iPad either.

    (Nor consider my suggestions for giving her laptop a boost with an SSD)

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Makes you wonder

      "Mind you she didn't try resetting the iPad either."

      Hmmm. Far be it for me to play amateur psychologist, but I would suspect here that Mrs. Anon just fancied a new iPad, and made the facts fit the case.

  14. silks

    Seems like a fair technique to manage the declining performance of tired Lithium Ion cells, but Apple could have been upfront about the issue or even provided a toggle setting to switch this feature on/off.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "To provide a better experience to customers"

    This is bunch of lies. Can Apple explain -

    1. Why other smart phones Google Pixel, Samsung etc. do not have this issue?

    2. Why after replacing battery with new one, still have the same issues like -

    - have to wait 5-10 seconds before camera becomes live,

    - applications die randomly,

    - phone reboots all of sudden

    time to dump iphone and look for another smart phone....

    1. Max Watson

      Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

      You're basing this on observations not facts. The cpu throttling is proven to only relate to battery demand performance

      1. Tabor

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        @Max : my observations also clash with the “facts” unfortunately. Who do I talk to to get my facts straight ? And the SE used by the missus up to speed ? My observation was that after updating to 11.x on her device it ran slower and the battery life got worse.

        Make no mistake, I am deeply entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, but if they don’t start making batteries replaceable I’ll switch when this iPhone 7 dies. Not that Apple will care, if they keep selling 1000 euro phones faster than they can make ‘em... Alternatively I would settle for 2 update branches, one for basic security updates and one for new “features” that I have no need for.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

      "This is bunch of lies. Can Apple explain -

      1. Why other smart phones Google Pixel, Samsung etc. do not have this issue?

      2. Why after replacing battery with new one, still have the same issues like -

      - have to wait 5-10 seconds before camera becomes live,

      - applications die randomly,

      - phone reboots all of sudden

      time to dump iphone and look for another smart phone...."

      Given that this is a 'laws of physics' problem, it's guaranteed that Pixel, Samsung etc will have the same problem. They might manage it in a different way (e.g. reducing global performance rather than peak throttling), or they might just allow devices to spontaneously reboot, or they might (my favorite) just not bother updating the devices at all after a certain period.

      My hope is that however they do it, their communication is better than Apple's. Because that's the real problem here.

      1. chrishu

        Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

        "Given that this is a 'laws of physics' problem, it's guaranteed that Pixel, Samsung etc will have the same problem. They might manage it in a "

        I dont think this is a "law of physics problems that other manufacturers also will encounter".

        Every other phone manufacturer uses the same sort of batteries in their phones.

        But its only apple who now seems to have such serious problems with 'standard' battery degradation over time , that they have to choose for the 'drastic' solution of reducing frequency.

        I think this more points to or a 'ios' operating system issue, that they dont seem to be able to counter, or is this would be more worrying, a archtiectural design issue with their apple phone processors.

        I was already wondered, that apple who is relatively new in the phone processor business could have been so successfull in designing processors, that beats out established phone processors players like qualcomm or arm.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

          "But its only apple who now seems to have such serious problems with 'standard' battery degradation over time , that they have to choose for the 'drastic' solution of reducing frequency."

          I have actually, personally, experience spontaneous reboots on my Samsung phone. In most cases, it's an unacknowledged problem. In my case, though, it's a Note 4, meaning all I had to do to solve the problem was change out the obviously-knackered battery (it was showing the first signs of bulging) for a new one.

  16. Kirstian K
    Facepalm

    Good idea, implemented badly

    I think its technically a good idea, but as mentioned the lack of notification or choice to the user is the issue I think most people have. The technical reasoning behind it I think most people get.

    But if you think cars: you get a oil warning light, or a battery light come on.

    If the CPU is being throttled then the iPhone knows its being throttled (i've seen other stories around the net with app's showing usage on phone then vs now values). So why not just have a phone performance/health indicator or graph over time. (and maybe a turn on/off switch) this simple 'phone requires a health check' indicator is all that's needed surely.

  17. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    This also explains why when I powered on my iPhone 5 I was greeted with a pop-up message: You will update your iOS NOW or you will update your iOS later. Also explains why when I tried to dismiss the message by pressing the home button I was ignored. I had to power off the phone and delete the update from memory which the phone had already downloaded without my permission and contrary to my setting, Do not update anything.

    Apple has all their fanboys lined up around the block to buy the latest shiny toys and to download the latest operating system because it has a larger number e.g. 10.0 vs. 9.3. While I'm a user of Apple products I am no longer a fan.

  18. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    "The Cupertino idiot-tax operation's..."

    Grow the fuck up.

  19. Haku

    "Wow, your iPhone is so fast! Is it new?"

    "No, I changed the battery."

  20. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Perhaps manufacturers like Apple and Samsung that choose to embed the battery into the phone to make it none replaceable by the end user should be obliged under consumer law to replace the battery for free, for a minimum of 2 years after the sale date.

    If I am spending hundreds of pounds on a premium phone I shouldn't have to pay an extra $79 for someone to fit a $5 part that they knew would require replacing during the phones life time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They do...

      If it fails due to a fault and you live in the EU...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They do...

        I wonder if the battery not being able to provide peak output as per the 'specs' could be classed as a fault?

  21. Stratman

    It would be interesting

    to see if there's any correlation between the issue of 'slow down' updates (downdates?) to older iphones and the imminent release of a new model.

    1. royprime

      Re: It would be interesting

      Yes, if you check Google stats, a lot more people search why is my iphone running slow around the time of a new release.

  22. Ryan 7

    It's clearly a tool to encourage upgrading

    Why else would they have waited before rolling it out to the newer iPhone 7?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mains powered phones?

    Perhaps I'm dumb, but if the reason was to prevent unexpected crashes because the battery can't deliver peak current, why don't the phones run at full speed on charger?

    DAVE

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mains powered phones?

      I'm going to hate myself for saying this (and possibly defending Apple) - I'm no battery or electronics expert, but my understanding is even when charging, phones are powered by the battery, and the mains current adds to the battery as it's inputting more than the battery is outputting.

      If the battery is struggling to output enough power, it may not make a difference how much power is being input to it at the time.

      You can see the inverse of this on Samsung tablets: charge it off a PC USB 1/2 port while using it, and the battery icon will have a red X through it, indicating that although it has external power, it's not getting more than the battery is outputting so the battery is draining, albeit more slowly. If it had switched directly to the USB input, it wouldn't have enough power and would fail.

      Happy to be corrected by someone who does know what they're talking about. :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mains powered phones?

        Close - it will draw power from the battery if the charger cannot provide enough to run the device. Similarly, the battery may charge more slowly (or not at all) if the device is using lots of power.

  24. Anne-Lise Pasch

    This would be easily fixed

    If they had an on/off toggle, defaulted to On, in the Power Management area. Then I could make my own choices whether I'd rather have 10 minutes of battery life from my ailing battery, or 2 hours of battery life throttled. Some of us who dance between power points don't need much charge, but we do like our phones to work consistently.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This would be easily fixed

      I don't think you are getting it, your phone won't work consistently if you turn it off.

      This isn't about extending battery charge via CPU throttling via normal power management. That's just a side effect, not the purpose.

      This is about system stability. The older batteries can't cope with peak demand anymore, therefore the CPU is throttled in order to stop the phone from crashing/rebooting when demand is too much, due to voltage instability.

      If you switched this off, you'll end up with a phone randomly crashing and rebooting whenever it was pushed a bit harder. Which is the opposite of what you seemed to be asking for with regards to consistently working.

      PS: I dislike how Apple have handled this. But technically (I'm an electronics engineer) I can see why it was done.

  25. SimonC
    Paris Hilton

    Pull the other one

    So these phones go full speed as soon as you plug them in right, because it's about protecting the consumer not about planned obsolescence.

    Paris to represent those that believe it's about the UX

  26. royprime

    I wonder?

    Could you imagine if other lithium battery machines throttle in the same way. Hop in your 5 year old Tesla Model S to find ludicrous mode is now limited to 45mph :)

  27. NBCanuck

    Replaceable battery

    I have a Samsung Note 4 that was suffering from battery issues. I purchased a kit containing 2 replacement batteries and an external charger over a year ago for just over $30 and my phone was back to 100%. Every now and then I get itchy to upgrade, but for my usage patterns there just isn't enough incentive to move. My biggest pain point will be sacrificing the ability to easily replace the battery and memory card.

    Waterproofing not as important to me as the ability to have access to swap basic components.

  28. captain_solo

    It's likely because you're holding it wrong.

  29. Justice
    Mushroom

    Apple Batteries

    They're no bother at all to replace. Seriously. Upgraded the piss poor performing battery in my iPhone 6S Plus to a 4880mAh Japanese manufactured replacement and it now lasts all day on a single charge with heavy use.

    The only difficulty was the three industrial strength adhesive strips all snapping off in mid-pull which required a heat bag and plastic card to eventually almost bend itself in half causing heart palpitations and fear of involuntary fire and potential explosion.

    Downside is I can't get through the car barrier at work because I used my employee building entry card to prise it out and snapped it in two.

    On the plus side, I can look at more cat pictures than I ever could before.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Apple Batteries

      "They're no bother at all to replace. Seriously."

      No, NOT serioiusly. No bother should mean "no tools necessary". You know, as in pop the lid where indicated, replace the battery, and close again. Like on my Note 4 and S5 (the latter which, BTW, also has waterproofing AND a replaceable cover, so the waterproofing argument is BS).

  30. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Holmes

    I call BS

    This whole story is BS.

    Our iPhone 5 is slower than a noname android tablet with 512Mb of RAM and pre-historic CPU at rendering web pages, so, there has to be a calculatePi() in there, I assume iPhone 6 just got the same treatment with the release of the new mobes. No CPU down-scaling, simply the if has been updated to include iPhone 6, admittedly, it might be worsened by CPU scaling, however, I doubt it ... our iPhone 5 even after factory reset grinds to a halt as soon as you install latest updates (I'll re-baptize that iPhone downdates from now on).

  31. Marcus Fil

    Okay..

    so the iPhone 6s my company bought me to replace my personal iPhone 4s, that kept dying in the cold, will throttle back, but not die. This sounds like a good idea. However, could the company have saved money by knowing that buying me a battery replacement would have fixed the original problem? I think the answer is yes - so should Apple be refunding (part of) the difference? Let the courts decide.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wouldn't buy a phone you couldn't change the battery for yourself

  33. RobThBay

    Weak batteries... what a great excuse

    It would be interesting to see if the throttling is turned off after the battery is replaced. I've got a feeling old phones with new batteries would still be running slow.

    Weak batteries.... what a lame excuse. Maybe the iFans aren't sending Apple enough cash so Apple decided to give them a little nudge.

  34. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    The Message

    While I don't think the lawsuit will go anywhere (after agreeing to the 10 page mind numbing user agreement) it sends the right kind of message to Apple customers to be wary of the hype and glitz Apple presents the world. Apple's very well known for it's orchestrated product obsolesence rendering still functional, working products useless.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why people shouldn’t ever buy anything ever...

    Because the disappointment will crush you into insignificance.

  36. Luiz Abdala
    FAIL

    Where is the "battery saver" option?

    Slap a button named "battery saver".

    If checked, CPU is throttled to oblivion, but battery lasts the advertised™

    If unchecked, CPU will run at full tilt, and the phone dies whenever batteries run out.

    Is that so hard to implement? Nobody would be even upset.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rewind to 2001

    The good old Nokia or Blackberry.

    I do not remember having any issues when using any of this phones in -15. yes the battery have drained quicker that's about it. Even after using the phone for a year as you didnt change your handset every xmas

    I'm not the expert in this the old phones have been running some kind of system too. Why did this issues not occurred then ?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Rewind to 2001

      Neither of them had high-intensity applications like serious games or media playback. Both of these can cause battery usage to spike higher than anything they could've experience. Some even drain faster than the charger can keep up.

      1. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Rewind to 2001

        I played games and media on my Blackberry. Never a charging issue. Move up a few years, company replaces Blackberrys with iPhones. Now I can't reliably play Golf on it even plugged in! (OK, the Golf is a more labour intensive game but still). Waterproofing, tish. I've NEVER dropped any company phone in water or dropped an cracked a screen. Perhaps it's because it doesn't belong to me but I like to think that's not the case. PP

  38. Wisteela
    Happy

    Merry Christmas, Apple

    This news pleases me.

  39. Patrick Marino

    4 years from now....

    people will be really pissed when they find out they can no longer wireless charge their phones as fast as they used to in 2017 due to battery degradation. And today’s $80 battery replacement will be $110 then.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yawn

    I must own the only two older iPhones that have not slowed down with age!!! Wifes 5S & my 6+ are both as fast as they were when purchased many moons back & both have less than 10% battery degradation even though they are charged every night without fail. Still get at least a full day without needing to charge out of both with plenty of screen on use (usually placed on charge with circa. 20% battery left). Both handsets are completely up to date with iOS updates as well.

  41. tempemeaty
    Facepalm

    I'm not going for the matches yet but...

    Well this is sad news. Even their "excuse" sounds weak. They ruined OS 10.13.2 High Sierra too, I tried it. It's buggy as f**k. Useless. They might as well pour petrol on the whole company and drop a match on it at this point.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old cr*apped out batteries will cause constant device shutdowns at heavy load!

    I hate Apple. Really, REALLY hate them. But... when I wiped the multigigabyte virus called Windows 10 from my i5 laptop (it had installed inself while I was away enjoying coffee one afternoon), installed Windows 7 Professional and set everything to max while on battery as a power plan: screen 100% brightness, CPU 100% performance at all times, Hard Drives at 100%, WiFi 100% etc... the battery couldn't cope and the thing would simply switch off because it was incapable of providing the amps. My battery would only charge to 98%. F*cked it was. Imagine the uproar if all users of older iPhones experienced something like this whenever they upgraded their OS. Also, constantly switching it back on again and again right after it failed could also cause the battery to overheat and explode. That would certainly be a horrible "customer experience". Sorry, I'm with Apple on this one... bleug! (runs away to jump off the roof onto heavy traffic)...

    ...(survived) At least with my Asus laptop, I can replace the battery and sort the issue, and do so conveniently and cheaply. For all the jesusness of the jesusphonne they do seem to have it in for mother earth. Wouldn't happen in a pagan company.

    Explaining to users about the reasons why would have diminished the jesusglow. Apples "just work" don't they? Saints Paul, John, Luke and Erik would be p*ssed they had to think about something.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old cr*apped out batteries will cause constant device shutdowns at heavy load!

      Frankly, if what you describe were to occur in any other industry, consumer safety laws would demand a recall at the manufacturer's expense.

  43. pop_corn

    My iPhone 5S runs just fine...

    ... because I'm still running iOS v9. Yes it's annoying to have to dismiss the weekly "Do you want to upgrade?" and "Are you sure you don't?" (paraphrasing) messages, but by not upgrading the iOS I've skipped this very predictable problem entirely.

    Sadly I wasn't so clever with my iPad which despite being blisteringly fast when I first got it, now struggles to notice that I'm even typing, forcing me to wait every 3rd word for it to catch up.

    I realise that from a security point of view, not upgrading to the latest iOS is not ideal, but I don't do any internet banking on my phone so the risk is minimal.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow

    Seriously? Mr. Cook never learn anything under Job's reign. That he actually gave away this piece of information surprised the hell out of me. Doesn't he knows the population of the USA are happy to sue at a drop of a hat? Never, never admit to anything!! MS have been getting away with it forever. The population in general and the lawyers that serve them are looking for a whole in the Corps armor to make money. Lets be real here. People buys Apple's phone for the sparkle, not for their quality. IF they wanted quality and true function they would be buying anything else but Apple. The way I see it the quality of other phones, including usability, by far surpasses Apple's phones. I have had both Apple and Android. My Android still ticking and does more than my old Iphone 4 (which is now obsolete). I bought an Apple Iphone years ago so like that I had the experience what is like to have one. I was not impressed. I want a pocket computer that goes the distance. My Samsung S5 has done that and more. Mr. Cook people that buy your stuff want fantasy not reality. So when you break their nice psychological bubble of delusion they will sue your head off. They think a huge high price on something actually means quality and performance. Who would it "thunk" about it? For me, 1 Iphone experience was enough. If I want sparkle I just go walk by the seashore.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple explanation released...

    https://www.apple.com/iphone-battery-and-performance/

    So I think we can all just calm down now folks.

  46. chivo243 Silver badge

    Late to the party

    Tail between their legs? At least it seems so for Apple - Slashed battery replacement prices? I'm shocked, really!

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-batteries/apple-apologizes-after-outcry-over-slowed-iphones-idUSKBN1EM20N?feedType=RSS&feedName=newsOne

    https://www.apple.com/iphone-battery-and-performance/

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Late to the party

      Sounds like they're trying to dodge a suit where they could be compelled by the court to replace ALL batteries on their dime.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I will say this again.

    Tim Cook is a horrible CEO. Steve Jobs was a visionary.

    People who inherit a legacy are usually disappointing compared to the ones who created that legacy.

  48. HKmk23

    The probable answer is

    As the typical fanboy is technically challenged anyway, they decided to slow their phones so as the fanboys get older they can keep up with the tech!

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