Yesterday Apple received questions from the US government on throttling old iPhones, and today they’ve released a statement. In said statement, Apple suggested that their next iOS update would include a kill switch for the battery health feature update they’d included previously. They called this their “power management feature,” and soon everyone will be able to turn it off easily.
Apple suggested that “About a year ago, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on certain iPhones with older batteries.” Instead of purposefully slowing down iOS devices to make new devices look better, Apple insisted that their actions “were taken to further assist our customers and help extend the life of their iPhones.”
Instead of including the power management measures without option, Apple said they’d include a toggle. The toggle will, apparently, allow users to switch their power management feature off. If they switch said power management feature off, it’ll remain available in Settings, but will not be turned back on automatically.
In effect, turning this feature off says to Apple that the user wants to manage their own iPhone’s power. Older iPhones that haven’t had a battery replacement tend to act differently from those that are brand new. That same situation happens no matter what kind of piece of tech you have, so long as its battery-powered.
Apple’s intent with this initiative looks to us to have been good from the start. But the execution of this plan didn’t work out as intended. Instead of seeing this feature as a service to extend the life of each iPhone, the public saw it as malicious and/or sneaky.
“As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” said an Apple representative, speaking with Axios. “Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”
• In short: All iPhone owners and users can expect a software update this spring or early summer with a new toggle in Settings. This toggle will allow users to switch off a “power management” feature which cuts phone performance. Performance is otherwise cut only when peak usage created a potential total shutdown situation.