Apple intentionally slows down iPhone performance with subsequent updates; but that is a good thing

Geekbench also pointed out that Apple iPhone users have a misconception about peak performance throughout the life of the device while that is not the case.

Popular bench-marking platform Geekbench issued a report investigating the claims by iPhone users that each new update slows their device down.

Apple intentionally slows down iPhone performance with subsequent updates; but that is a good thing

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

According to the report, the company plotted ‘kernel density’ graphs for the benchmark scores recorded in the Geekbench single-core test for iPhone 6s and iPhone 7.

The scores were not limited to one version of iOS to trace the effect of updates on the benchmark scores. John Poole, the founder of Primate Labs which created Geekbench testing methodology stated that the graphs did not include the scores when the iPhones were in ‘low-power mode’.

Image: Geekbench

Image: Geekbench

The graphs show a drop in the single core scores recorded after updating the devices from iOS 10.2.0 to 10.2.1 and a similar drop while upgrading the devices from iOS 11.1.2 to iOS 11.2.0. It may seem like that the performance of the devices gets worse with successive iOS updates but that is not the case. The reason for the drop in performance is the degrading battery.

Image: Geekbench

Image: Geekbench

The degradation in the battery condition was resulting in the sudden shutdown of iPhone 6 and 6s as pointed out by the report. To fix the issue Apple resorted to reducing the performance of the devices. Geekbench also pointed out that due to this and the misconception about peak performance throughout the life of the device, users think that Apple intentionally slows down their devices as part of ‘planned obsolescence’.

As part of fixing the issue, users don’t get a notification about reduced performance as they get when their device is in the ‘low-power mode’. This translates into a slower performance without any notification creating an ‘unexpected’ third state which is created to mask the low battery power. The report states that users have reported improvement in the performance of their old iPhones after they replaced the battery.

In short, Apple seems to be doing the right thing by letting you use your phone till its last dying breath by optimising the iPhone's performance to suit the needs of the degrading battery.

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