Apple publishes detailed explanation of what happens when an old iPhone is slowed down

The unexpected shut-down issue surfaced with the iPhone 6s

The unexpected shut-down issue surfaced with the iPhone 6s



Apple slows down old iPhones with aging batteries to prevent them from unexpectedly shutting down and it's been doing so for a year now.

You have probably already read all about it, but now the company has posted a detailed explainer page that tells exactly what is happening to your device when it is being throttled. While some features are slower, other - essential ones - are not affected at all.

Below you will find two lists: one shows all the things that are slowed down or in any way affected by the slow down. The second list highlights other important features that you might have questions about. Those important features in the second list are not affected by the slow-down of the processor. 

Let's start with the first list and see what are the effects of a throttled old iPhone.

Features affected when Apple slows down an iPhone


  • Longer app launch times
  • Lower frame rates while scrolling
  • Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center)
  • Lower speaker volume by up to -3dB
  • Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps
  • During the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI
  • Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch

And here is the second list of features that are not affected by the slowdown.

Features NOT affected by the slowdown


  • Cellular call quality and networking throughput performance
  • Captured photo and video quality
  • GPS performance
  • Location accuracy
  • Sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer
  • Apple Pay

Apple might have been silent about slowing down iPhones with older batteries, but it has now done the right thing by apologizing to users and posting a detailed, well-explained resume of what happens when it throttles an old iPhone.

You can read the whole explainer at the source link right below.

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74 Comments

1. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Apple = Transparency Apple = Customers Care

7. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

A customer care with a ten year response time isn't caring about customers.

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

In the article it literally states: Apple might have been silent about slowing down iPhones Apple /= Transparancy And keep the tissue if you have nothing to contribute to the discussion

22. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1293; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Apple = Transparency when caught with their pants down Apple = Customer Care when you royally pay for it

26. Feanor

Posts: 1341; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

"Apple=transparency": this is a joke, right? Sony is using Qnovo battery care technology as well as automatic reduction of the time that battery is permitted to stay in charge when 100% charged, in order not to have to artificially reduce performance behind users' backs... Battery care, digital noise cancellation, super fast updates, and people still think Sony is a joke... Hmm...

28. Peacetoall unregistered

atleast they were honest about it and called the artificially reduce performance a feature called qnovo to extend the battery health.

35. Feanor

Posts: 1341; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I believe Qnovo is a bit more complex and independent technology than sending OTA I performance hampering algorithm. And as I said, apart from Qnovo, there is also the adaptive charging.

36. CHP19

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 23, 2017

Guess you haven't been following. The actual issue here is that Apple wasn't transparent from the get-go. Once caught it's just excuse after excuse. Seriously they already started throttling the iPhone 7. That phone is just over a year old. A phone of that age should not be having issues like this. Maybe Apple should take a hard look at either their chipsets or their battery tech because seems like something isn't quite right. So either it's planned obsolesence or bad hardware. Take your pick.

38. cmdacos

Posts: 3957; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

They are transparent but only after screwing their users over and getting caught. There will be more to come as Apple users learn that marketing spin isn't reality.

48. Cat97

Posts: 1797; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Apple = badly designed hardware with mismatched battery and electronics, relying on their blind fans to keep selling defective products. I have witnessed a 4 weeks-old iPhone 6s shutting down in cold weather.

60. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Well its cold so, I expect it will...lol Electronics aren't suppose to work in extreme heat or cold. You do know this, right? Though where I lived in the States, its got very gold. I never had a Samsung phone shut down, even in below zero weather. But I also didn't try using it outside either like a dummy knowing its too cold. That just shows how stupid iPhone users are. you don't take a phone out in below zero weather, unless you have too.

67. AxelFoley unregistered

Transparency occurs before you get caught, not after. Apple = Confessing

2. cncrim

Posts: 1583; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Wow, it is planned obsolescence to me, remove the code and guve us option to choose. I would like the phone age on it own term, i want the usability not suffer. I will change battery or drci8de to upgrade when i can't understand it no more.

3. Peacetoall unregistered

After 6 months Even mid range android phones can beat throttling 1000$ iphone x. LOL

5. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

All Android phones are already mid range.......

14. Peacetoall unregistered

compared to overrated iphone android phones are like mid range with high performance value for money and zero intentionally throttled.

68. PopeFrancis

Posts: 110; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Apple has throttled cnour's brain.

13. notfair

Posts: 709; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

who the fu-ck is this cnour cretin user?

53. Ralph.

Posts: 249; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

An Apple worshiper An iCult

55. imran86

Posts: 208; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

It's Ray S.

76. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Its a drive traffic account..

16. Hollowmost

Posts: 414; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Wow this is a fraud .... I will f**kin sell my MacBook pro and buy a dell XPS They don't deserve my money , last year after Samsung fiasco , Sammy gave a full refund and and price cut on next flagship for those who affected .... What apple has done after this planned obsolescence ... Cutting batteries price for 50$ lol really apple ???! Who will pay my sister that have iPhone 5s , iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s ... She upgraded her iPhone after every major iOS update because you force the update and the iPhone become slow af .... why you apple didn't told us to just replace the battery for 80$ instead of paying a full iPhone price for 800$ ??????????!!!

18. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Who care? Sell it.

54. Ralph.

Posts: 249; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

You care, since you worship Apple.

19. Hollowmost

Posts: 414; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Apple still wants $29 to replace batteries so their phones can perform as they should without throttling? It is as though the robber who got caught in the act is actually expecting YOU to pay HIM to leave. Astounding!

62. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Think if millions of people go and spend $29 who much extra money that is. Potentially 30M people could replace their batteries now. Look another win-fall of cash. Apple still wins even when they are losing. SAD!!!!!!!!!! When my present iPhone's die, then they will just be dead. I have my 4/4S and 7. When they die, I wont be replacing the battery.

20. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

They are doing the right thing. My htc m9 remains as fast when I got it but dies frequently at 60 or 45%. Stop trolling and complaining when you don't know the reality of other users

21. Hollowmost

Posts: 414; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Easy , Replace the battery You want a slow ass phone with good battery , or paying 40$ for new battery and you have a fast phone with good battery life ??

37. Macready

Posts: 1813; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

n=1 for an almost 3 year old phone versus 1 out 7 iPhones 7 (just 1 year old or less...) and a non user selectable "fix" takes up to 60% of your power. And that's good for consumers? You are a marketeers' dream come true.

23. mootu

Posts: 1443; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

C'mon PhoneArena "Apple might have been silent about slowing down iPhones with older batteries, but it has now done the right thing by apologizing to users" Apple have not been silent about it, they denied it for years! This isn't Apple doing the right thing, this is Apples lawyers talking and in Damage limitation mode. They are trying to reduce the $hitstorm which is heading thier way, 10 class action lawsuits, a potential $11 billion fine in France. The EU have been quiet so far but it's pretty much nailed on they will get involved at some point and this is just the start. Then there's going to be a lot of disgruntled Apple fans who may decide to look elsewhere in the future. At the moment Apple are looking after one thing and that's it's stockholders.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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