Geekbench Scores Appear to Confirm Apple is Slowing Down iPhones With Old Batteries [Chart]

Geekbench Scores Appear to Confirm Apple is Slowing Down iPhones With Old Batteries [Chart]

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Geekbench founder John Poole appears to have confirmed that Apple is slowing down iPhones with old batteries, based on data from the popular benchmarking application.

A recent reddit post sparked speculation that Apple is underclocking the CPU of iPhones with degraded batteries to prevent unintended shutdowns and extend battery life. To test this, Poole plotted the kernel density of Geekbench 4 single-core scores for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 running different versions of iOS. Scores obtained in low power mode were not included.

As you can see, there is only one large peak in scores for the iPhone 6s until iOS 10.2.1 when scores are distributed across five peaks. This was the firmware Apple released to fix unexpected shutdowns. The peaks become even more pronounced with iOS 11.2.

Geekbench Scores Appear to Confirm Apple is Slowing Down iPhones With Old Batteries [Chart]

Interestingly, the iPhone 7 has just one peak for iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.1.2; however, scores get distributed across 4 peaks with iOS 11.2. This suggests that Apple is intentionally introducing the behavior once the device has aged to the point where most user's batteries are degraded.

Users expect either full performance, or reduced performance with a notification that their phone is in low-power mode. This fix creates a third, unexpected state. While this state is created to mask a deficiency in battery power, users may believe that the slow down is due to CPU performance, instead of battery performance, which is triggering an Apple introduced CPU slow-down. This fix will also cause users to think, “my phone is slow so I should replace it” not, “my phone is slow so I should replace its battery”. This will likely feed into the “planned obsolecense” narritive.

We'll let you know if Apple issues a statement to clarify what's going on. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.

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Geekbench Scores Appear to Confirm Apple is Slowing Down iPhones With Old Batteries [Chart]
ROBERT HANCOCK - December 19, 2017 at 10:34pm
What are the figures when the tests are run while the iPhone is charging?
D4xM4Nx - December 19, 2017 at 11:48am
While this may seem like Apple tried to mitigate issues with worn batteries starting on iOS 10.2.1, problem is that the situation feels similar to planned obsolescence or downright shady procedures. I'm even happier to keep my iPhone locked on iOS 10.2, hope my iPhone X will have a long-lasting battery. Ready to join the lawsuit if that's what needs to happen.
tuba - December 19, 2017 at 11:25am
Has anyone compared scores before and after a battery replacement?
A-non-e-moose - December 19, 2017 at 4:30pm
Yep, from an older article someone tested the scores for both before and after
Toni - December 19, 2017 at 11:01am
What about Mac OS. Is old Mac with old battery slow down too when have Mac os high Sierra?
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