The revolt took root in iPhone users after they discovered that Apple was in a Reddit post. decreasing performance of devices with two years or more to “hide” a battery problem that affected some devices.
Since reports of device slowness are on the rise – including from MacMagazine -, John Poole, from the famous Geekbench app, decided to research the issue further, carrying out several tests to see if the case was proceeding or not.
Thanks for the article! My iPhone 6 was 850 mhz, very slow. I changed the battery, now it’s another device! 1400 mhz all the time!
– Marcelo Vidal (@marceloluzvidal) December 19, 2017
To address these issues, I mapped the kernel density score on Geekbench 4 with single-core on an iPhone 6s and an iPhone 7, running different versions of iOS. The results obtained in low power mode are not included in the distribution.
Check out the results found below:
As you can see in the graphics above, which show the iPhone 6s running different systems, it was only in iOS 10.2.1 that in fact the processing problems started to appear. This version of the system was the one that Apple released to fix the battery problem on several devices that turned off abruptly, but, as we tell in this article, even if this problem has been solved, the iOS version has greatly reduced the performance of the devices.
Performance worsened further in iOS 11.2, according to Poole, as Apple would have “implemented a change to limit performance when the battery condition decreases after a certain point”.
This theory was “proven” by our well-known countryman Guilherme Rambo, which found an element in iOS version 10.2.1 called powerd (from power daemon), which does exactly what Poole said:
It also controls CPU power based on thermal pressure. So it’s a very important system to make sure your phone doesn’t catch on fire https://t.co/5q2ZVdEQxk
– Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) December 18, 2017
It appears that powerd is responsible for controlling the speed of the CPU / GPU and the power usage based on the health of the iPhone’s battery.
It also controls CPU power based on thermal pressure. So it is a very important system to ensure that your phone does not catch fire.
THE tragic news is that, when we analyze the tests done on the iPhone 7 – which is a newer device and, in theory, would not have such a problem on the battery – we will notice that everything seems normal until reaching the last version of the system, when the inconstances began to appear:
Some even said that it is better to have a device with less performance, but still have it when necessary, than to have a device that we can barely use by turning off randomly with 40% battery, for example. But, if the problem occurred on iPhones 6 / 6s – and Apple knew that well – why on iPhone 7 does this continue to happen on newer versions of iOS? It looks a little suspicious …
Apparently, the more “stubborn” the new system is, the more it demands of the battery. And as there is a processing “limiter” directly related to the battery, less performance the device can deliver.
The big issue here, according to Poole, is the fact that Apple doesn’t make this very clear to users, letting them believe that the problem is with the entire device, not just the battery (which, being worn out, actually left the slower iPhone due to the “limitation” created by the software). So, instead of changing the battery (here in Brazil, something that costs R $ 450 for all models of iPhones), people buy new devices and “discard” the previous one.
In other words, even if the attitude is correct, as Rambo himself made it clear (nobody wants a phone exploding in his hands), the fact that Apple does not warn exactly what is happening sounds, for many, like programmed obsolescence, since the company would simply be taking over the processing power of iPhones and “forcing” people to buy a new device for lack of information.
For now, the company has not commented on the matter, but this whole discussion can generate a lot of enthusiasm for it. Does the issue disappear due to lack of pronouncement or will it only get worse with time? What is your bet?