iOS 13.1 brings controversial CPU throttling feature to 2018 iPhones

iOS 13.1 brings controversial CPU throttling feature to 2018 iPhones
Apple prides itself on its “customer first” philosophy but the company’s practices aren’t always in line with it, or at least it doesn’t seem that way for outsiders. Apple has been through all sorts of controversies through the years but probably the biggest one was in 2017 when it was discovered that Apple lowers the maximum CPU frequency of some of the older iPhones without telling the users. Apple explained that the move was not part of some shadowy planned obsolescence scheme but was meant to allow devices that have degraded batteries to be used for longer. Of course, many remained skeptical. 

Well, now that skepticism returns with the release of iOS 13.1. The fist update of iOS 13 comes just days after its official release and push notifications should already be popping-up on iPhones. Part of the changes coming in the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system is the option for the company to throttle down iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, RedmondPie discovered.

The controversial feature, if we can even call it that, will likely remain dormant for a while as most 2018 iPhone should still have their batteries in good health and won’t require throttling. As time goes by, however, those that have already racked up a high number of recharge cycles might see the performance of their phones drop. With iOS 13, Apple introduced a new feature called Optimized Battery Charging which should slow down the degradation of your iPhone's battery so that cases of throttling can become less common.

Still, if that happens to your device, you can fix it with a battery replacement. Apple currently charges $69 for 2018 and 2019 iPhones battery replacements and $49 for older ones if your device is out of warranty. A small price to pay compared to the cost of a new iPhone if you decide to upgrade instead.

On the bright side, the A12 Bionic chip that powers last year’s iPhones has top-notch performance so even if does get throttled, the effect on the user experience will likely be almost unnoticeable. Still, we’ll have to wait and see if users will start complaining about their iPhones feeling sluggish.

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19 Comments

1. WieXXX

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 03, 2019

"the A12 Bionic chip that powers last year’s iPhones has top-notch performance so even if does get throttled, the effect on the user experience will likely be almost unnoticeable", is this your oppinion in a "news" site?, or is this a blog where everyone can assume everything?

2. Tizo101

Posts: 566; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

So it's just a battery life thing, like all the different ways android does the same thing

11. IT-Engineer

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Huh?..

18. tbreezy

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

They do, it depends on how old the battery is. My Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 began acting weird after 1.5years, the battery had expanded. After I replaced with a new one all was back to normal

14. sgodsell

Posts: 7443; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Wrong, Android only throttles down because the smartphone overheats.

3. Mike88

Posts: 435; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

You forgot to mention that it can be turned off. The article missed very important information. Add this to your article. “ Following backlash for performing the practice without the users’ knowledge, Apple eventually added a toggle so the user could turn the feature on or off. The feature will only be activated when a weak battery is detected, but you’ll still be able to turn the feature back off.

4. User123456789

Posts: 1008; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Sony's stamina mode has one stronger option that reduces clock. Not that different.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

:facepalm:

6. blingblingthing

Posts: 976; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Even with the throttling, expect ifans to still claim their devices are as fast as day one as they usually do.

7. Mike88

Posts: 435; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

It can be as the throttling can be turned off.

8. Vancetastic

Posts: 1567; Member since: May 17, 2017

And then you can experience random shut downs, which are super cool!

12. blingblingthing

Posts: 976; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Maybe they could have also included a bigger battery.

19. tbreezy

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

What random shut downs? Please stop spewing nonsense about things you clearly do not understand.

9. Vancetastic

Posts: 1567; Member since: May 17, 2017

I'd like to know if this is different than what was already happening.

10. DFranch

Posts: 556; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Can the user choose to throttle the processor in order to save battery? If so, I'd say no big deal. If Apple is choosing for you without your knowledge or approval, then I'd say BS.

17. tbreezy

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

You as the user can turn it off, it’s the Apple haters that try hard to ignore that.

13. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1578; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Strange how Apple has all of these battery problems that require throttling to prevent shut down. None of my Android devices have had this issue regardless of age. Never had this problem with windows either. I honestly think this is to cover up the fact they use cheap batteries that fail, or a deliberate attempt to push upgrades.

16. tbreezy

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

I have had this on most older phones, Symbian, Android and Sony Ericsson java phones. It’s typical of phones that have old batteries to start having weird issues.

15. tbreezy

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Love how people ignore the fact that it can be turned off. Lol. Android fanboys are quick to jump on anything, without knowing much.

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