Speak to the geek

2 min read
31 Dec 2017
2 min read
521 words
Our resident geek answers about Apple releasing updates that slow down iPhones so that people feel the need to buy new iPhones

Did Apple bite off more than it can chew?
What's up with all the news about Apple releasing updates that slow down iPhones so that people feel the need to buy new iPhones? As an iPhone user, I am curious and concerned. --Reema Gurung

Apple has, for quite some time now, been accused of slowing down iPhones so that customers opt for new iPhones, and the company recently confirmed half that accusation. Yes, Apple did release updates that slow iPhones down, but the company says it didn't do so to boost phone sales. (I'm sure Apple can--and maybe even has--come up with much better and less conspicuous ways to boost sales if they really wanted to, but that's beside the point.) Apple first released that update (for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone SE) in response to reports that some iPhones were shutting down suddenly, despite their having considerable charge (The update would slow down phones in which the battery was being overworked; the update is supposed to prevent shutdowns, which--if you think about it--makes sense. Moreover, Apple says that it will continue to roll out similar updates in the future. Customers, however, feel that Apple could have handled the situation better by disclosing that the update would slow down their phones when it was first rolled out--but that's a debate for another day. For now, I'll just tell you what you, as an iPhone user, should and should not do if your phone has slowed down noticeably.

Don't call up a lawyer and sue Apple (as has already been done by two people) just yet. Figure out first if it's actually the update that slowed your phone down. If you own an iPhone that's older than the iPhone 6, it's probably just because it's old, in which case you should update your apps to their most recent versions and clean your storage. This is a good time to finally make use of the five gigabytes of storage that you get when you sign up on iCloud (if you haven't already, that is), and store pictures and videos on the cloud instead of on the phone. And even if you have enough storage remaining in your phone, I'd advise you to free up as much as space as you can (if you go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage, you will find recommendations for how you can free up some more space). You can also reduce the pressure on your battery by turning off location services for individual apps.

If you, however, own something that was released relatively recently (iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X) and it feels unusually sluggish, you first want to try the tips mentioned in the previous paragraph. If the problem persists, contact the people who sold the phone to you, assuming you bought it from an authorised reseller and still have a valid warranty.