With the release of iOS 10.2.1, Apple included a new feature in its mobile operating system that throttled the overall operating system performance in an attempt to avoid random shutdowns on older iPhone devices. This iPhone slow-down by Apple’s software was discovered by the public at the tail-end of 2017 and that’s when the company started feeling the heat from the end users.
Apple admitted the change and said that the performance throttling happens on the devices with a battery that has reached its end of life cycle. To address the situation, the company introduced a $29 battery replacement program and even considering sending out rebates to customers who purchased the batteries at full-price for their older iPhone models.
That bit of information became a public knowledge when Apple sent a letter to US Senate, following a query from Senator John Thune (R-SD). The letter also revealed that the software feature that throttles OS performance is not necessary for the new iPhone models. The company has introduced “hardware updates” in their new iPhone models to address the same battery issues.
In an answer to a question asked by Thune that if the company planned on issuing a “similar software update … for newer phone models,” to which Apple replied:
iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models include hardware updates that allow a more advanced performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown.
In her response, Apple also noted that “all iPhones have basic performance management” without going into details. Apple did not indicate how much of this performance management system is base don software and how much of that is handled by the hardware. The company also refrained from telling if they plan on releasing a software update to address the battery related issue for these new iPhone models in the future when they become old.
While Apple admits that there are hardware improvements introduced in new iPhone models, the company is not necessarily saying that future software updates for such issues won’t be necessary.