Unlike Apple, HTC and Motorola say they don’t slow down older smartphones. Confirmation follows public outcry over Apple’s decision to slow down iPhone models as they — or, more specifically, their lithium-ion batteries — age. Despite having a pretty good reason for slowing down the devices, Apple’s attempt at mitigating problems caused by li-ion batteries has proven very controversial, and public attention has turned to other smartphone makers.
Following the revelation, consumers immediately started questioning which other smartphone makers may be doing the same thing. While many have remained quiet on the matter, both Motorola and HTC have spoken up to say that they do not slow down their smartphones as the batteries age. Whether that’s a good thing isn’t as clear cut as it may seem, though.
Lithium-ion batteries, volatile but widely used, present a particular problem for phone makers: as they get older, both their capacity and their peak voltage decrease. While the first of the two, the decrease is capacity, is annoying, it is the second that could cause frustrating problems for the user.
With a lower peak voltage, the device (iPhone, in this case) may not get enough power to handle intensive tasks. To prevent damage, the device would simply shutdown in those cases. To mitigate all of this, Apple instead slows the devices down as the batteries get old and their peak voltage drops. This sidesteps the aforementioned issues, but at a certain expense to performance.
Both Motorola and HTC confirmed to The Verge in individual statements that they don’t decrease processor speeds to deal with aging li-ion batteries. Statements from other big phones makers are still forthcoming, though. Lack of transparency on the matter to customers is one issue many have taken with Apple’s practice; only time will tell how widespread it is throughout the phone industry.
SOURCE: The Verge