Apple confirms: Your iPhone does get slower with age


The situation is prickly: More than 10 years after Apple introduced its first iPhone, the company says it's trying to deliver the "best experience" to customers by preventing unexpected power-related shutdowns.

Apple (AAPL) said in its statement that it will continue to use the feature with other products in the future.

For Apple, this could quickly transform into a PR nightmare because let's face it, the company knew that some users would prefer to upgrade to a new iPhone rather than have their old model checked out.

Ms Karissa Chua, a consumer electronics consultant at Euromonitor International, said it was common for the battery, speed and performance of all smartphones to degenerate over time with every update to the operating system and apps.

The discrepancy between processors and batteries runs deep - and it's increasingly being highlighted, as lithium-ion batteries are recognized as not having much room for improvement.

"(But) it's a trade-off.

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The software is said to slow down devices to keep them functional, but only when needed. Now that the proof is here, it would serve Apple to be more forthcoming as to what these updates do to their phones. "The solution should not be at the expense of the user's experience which might be affected if the phone slows down".

Yesterday, we reported on a new development in the long simmering story about older iPhones beginning to feel sluggish after installing a new version of iOS.

"If Apple can show that the slowdowns are relative to the number of cycles that a battery has - which is information that an iPhone likely tracks, since Macs do so already - then there might be some truth to their claims", said Michael Oh, chief technology officer and founder of TSP, a Boston-based Apple partner. And because it's so gradual, progressively shorter battery life is ignored by most people, until it's time for a new iPhone.

Because of this decision, users who had no idea what was going on would believe that their old iPhone is slowing down due to possible age issues. "Why not just offer to replace the battery instead?"

That post triggered responses in which other Apple customers wondered whether the battery ploy was also to blame for their older Macbook laptops not working as well as they once had. If not, it costs $118.