You\’d be stupid to turn off Apple\’s iPhone performance limiter

You\’d be stupid to turn off Apple\’s iPhone performance limiter

Apple (AAPL) might be on its way to being history’s first $1 trillion company, but it’s been dealing with a public relations nightmare since it announced last month that it was purposely slowing down older versions of its iPhones.

The admission gave credence to the popular conspiracy that Apple slows down consumers’ phones to force them to upgrade to newer versions. But that kind of forced obsolescence would have put Apple in some serious trouble with regulators and the public in general, if it was true.

What was really happening was Apple was slowing down the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to ensure that the extra performance required to handle certain tasks wasn’t pulling too much power from the phones’ older batteries too quickly.

That’s because if the battery was being overworked the phone would experience doing so would result in periodic system shutdowns. But that also meant that the phones were running slower than they had when they were originally purchased.

After a public outcry over Apple slowing consumers’ phones without their consent, Apple announced on Wednesday that it’s working on a software update that will let you disable that slowdown feature.

That might sound like a great move, and one that you can’t wait to test for yourself on your own iPhone. But doing so would actually be pretty stupid on your part.

The rationale was solid, the execution was poor

I’m not going to sit here and excuse Apple’s decision to make major changes to consumers’ smartphones without giving them an explicit heads-up.

It would have been far easier for the company to have done so and explain that throttling its phones’ processors ensured they wouldn’t pull as much juice from their batteries, thus letting consumers use their handsets without any random shutdowns or having to recharge them as often. But even then, it’s likely there would have been some kind of repercussions for the tech giant’s actions.

The problem here is that lithium-ion batteries, which are used in smartphones across the industry,  lose their ability to hold a charge over time. The more you discharge and recharge a lithium-ion battery, the more its overall capacity drops. That’s just the nature of their chemical makeup. And since those batteries are cheap and ligh

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