With the iOS 12.1 update, Apple's processor throttling comes to the iPhone 8/Plus and X

With the iOS 12.1 update, Apple's processor throttling comes to the iPhone 8/Plus and X
Today's lithium batteries are rated for a certain amount of charge cycles before they start degrading in terms of capacity or ability to provide peak current. This simple fact led to a real #batterygate scandal when Apple acknowledged that iPhones with aged or weaker batteries will take a hit in peak performance, in order to preserve their internals better. 

Chipsets and other hardware are becoming ever more powerful and demanding, especially Apple's AX line of processors, resulting in going over the fence when trying to extract stronger current from a weaker battery. At that time, older iPhones employed shutdown procedures to safeguard the electronics in certain extreme scenarios. 

Apple tried to remedy the situation with the iOS 10.2.1 update, smoothing out the peak battery demands by dispersing them over several quick cycles. That meant throttling the processor's power, and resulted in 80% fewer iPhone 6 shutdowns, Apple reported at the time, but it also made older iPhones feel comparatively slow. 

Apple kept this "performance management" system in the next iOS updates, too, with the ability to switch it off in the battery settings if desired. Once the battery in your iPhone 6 or 7 aged enough, for instance, they became a bit slower and less responsive unless you cracked them open and changed the power bank with a brand new one at Apple's expense.


When it comes to newer handsets, however, Apple's support pages on the matter said that the "iPhone 8 and later use a more advanced hardware and software design... As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable..." The writeup, however, did include the ominous disclaimer that "over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance." Now that the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are more than a year old, eagle-eyed reporters noticed that Apple has changed the support section's wording as follows:

As a reminder, Apple's iPhone throttling resulted in a huge community backlash and several lawsuits, forcing Tim Cook to out a letter of apology and Apple to commence its popular $29 battery replacement program in an attempt to regain the trust of users. Apple's decision to lower the price of iPhone battery replacements to $29 (from $79; 63% discount), is now about to go into reverse, it seems.

With the launch of the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, Apple updated a lot of the terms for trade-ins, insurance, and, yes, the battery replacement tags. Starting January 1, 2019, eligible phones from the iPhone 6 and up, will no longer be able to take advantage of the $29 battery replacement deal.

The price tag will go to $49 for older iPhones, while the new gear from the iPhone X and up, will be charged $69 for a battery swap out of warranty. That's still lower than the $79 tag Apple charged before #BatteryGate, and your XS or XR are unlikely to need the service in the foreseeable future anyway.

With the iOS 12.1 update, however, Apple's "performance management" aka processor throttling has apparently wiggled its way into the 2017 crop of iPhones as well, for better or worse. Granted, their battery cycle counts are not even halfway through, and the more frugal chipsets as well as the smoother iOS 12 should make the tradeoff between slowdowns or shutdowns unnecessary, but we'll keep an eye for any evidence to the contrary.

Related phones

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2716 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
iPhone 8
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 1821 mAh(14h talk time)



1. notfair

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

nice, keep buying apple products, they're the best!

3. Supah

Posts: 692; Member since: Mar 08, 2017

Apple fans iDefended it so they definitely iDeserve it LMAOOOOO

58. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

At least in case of battery gone still can get it easily unlike Android you need to make order from China and it does cost half of the phone price Lol.

63. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

No it didn't.

5. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2487; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The article does fail to mention the feature can be turned off. It activates after a device experiences a sudden shutdown but can be turned off under the battery settings.

14. bucknassty

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

and what prevents them from having something in the code that shuts the phone down and starts the 'feature'? Dr. Phil i thought you were one person on here that would look down on apple for this.

26. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Fan will never hold Apple for any wrong doing evee. But will ridicule anyone else when they are busted or have issues. The fact Apple is still using cheap batteries in the 8 and X thatvrequires them to do this is lame. Enjoy your $1000 throttle notched garage. This is actually so funny!!!! Again in fairness, any product rhatvruns on a battery, we know as the battery discharges, utveffects how they work. But the 8 and X are just one model old. This means Apple purchase millions of cheap garbage Chinese batteries that can't handle the hardware and die way before they should. From what I can tell, every Samsung I have ever owned, runs at full speed or non degraded speed all the way until the battery falls to 1% and then it turns off. You pay all that money, and basically the rechargeable battery inside a radio controlled toy is better than the one in a $1000 iPhone. That a complete and uttered shame.

55. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

We pay money to get the best total experience. If your note 9 is the best then why is 4000mah last a day just like iphones and why they don’t make the best display a default then. Sucks!!!

79. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

You pay money to get hosed by Apple lol

36. DolmioMan

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

That’s exactly how it works now. As soon as you get an unexpected shut down it throttles the CPU a little.

24. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Apple doesnt have faith in it's own cheap batteries because they know they are garbage. No other company does this.

31. hpspectrex360

Posts: 59; Member since: May 10, 2017

Actually, other companies just let you deal with the problems yourself, which isn't any better. Although I think Apple should make this an opt-in thing rather than opt-out.

34. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

The article also fails to mention majority of iPhone users have no clue about this feature. So how can they turn off a feature that they don't know about?

46. cmdacos

Posts: 4321; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

That's how planned obsolescence works though...

56. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

That is why android lags after a year. Shame!

80. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

and iPhones shut down after a year. Bigger Shame

32. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

They give you the option to turn that feature completely off if you hate that battery management system. Apple gives you the choice here. What's setting with that?

45. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Nothing wrong there. But there's something definitely wrong with your trolling in this site.

50. iczer

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

most people doesn't even know that they can turn off this feature!! that is the problem!

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The fact that it can be turned off if desired, makes it a worthy feature for older phones. Good job Apple on not forcing it to be used. Choice is always welcomed.

21. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's true, but let's not forget that you only get that choice because they got caught. Prior to that, they forced it on you.

33. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That’s also true, and I’m not taking Apple’s side, I’m simply stating a fact, it can be turned off. As I said before, Apple shoulda been 100% transparent and let users have the choice from the beginning. At least we have the choice now.

41. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

But this is part of the issue. This "feature" will be on by default after the update and likely cause some individuals who aren't up to speed to assume that the phone is slowing down as a natural result of age. The fact that it wasn't included from the beginning makes me think it's shady rather than for value.

64. mrochester

Posts: 1036; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Maybe the assumption the user has as to why their phone slows down needs to change then? It’s not really Apple’s fault if people (incorrectly) jump to the wrong conclusion.

67. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I agree with that. It's just some here want to make it seem like this is Apple being beneficent, when of they hadn't been caught, your phones would throttle without you knowing it.

73. mrochester

Posts: 1036; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

That’s still better than the phone turning off. A slow phone is better than a phone that doesn’t turn on.

77. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Well of the battery is empty it shouldn't turn on. It should turn off with 30% battery still left. You actually feed ding this? But if Samsung had did this.....

81. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1346; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Praising Apple for giving users what they want after they were caught actively trying to do the opposite. Don't give Apple or any company credit were it's not due.

6. power21

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 15, 2015

very bad, very, very, very, very, bad.

10. c.m.s

Posts: 239; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

How is it bad? Its optional.

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

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