Bay Mac’s Help Desk

With Steve Paris - helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Q: What’s the deal with Apple deliberately slowing down old iPhones when new ones come out?

A: That’s not exactly what they did, but Apple did handle the situation poorly. In fact their intentions were to try and prolong the life of old iPhones, not render them obsolete once they unveil a new model.

Over time, as you use it, your phone’s battery will degrade – this applies to any battery, in any device. The more it’s worn down, the less charge it will hold and the quicker that charge will deplete, which means there will come a point when your phone will suddenly shut down even if it tells you it still has 20% power left. Apple’s intention was to slow the phone down at that stage to avoid such unexpected shutdowns. But they didn’t tell anyone they were doing that, hence the screams of conspiracy online.

The good thing is, this led Apple to do what they should’ve done in the first place: give you the option to choose. With the latest 11.3 update to iOS installed on your iPhone, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta).

This section tells you your device’s current Maximum Capacity (ie, the health of your battery). Beneath that is the Peak Performance Capability. If your battery is getting old, and your device unexpect-edly shut down because of it, this feature will be automatically triggered. You can disable it by tapping on ‘Disable’.

Changing the battery for a new one will also remove any such issues (until that new battery starts to degrade), and is much cheaper than buying a new phone (currently £25 from the Apple Store).


Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and through his new website, provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.


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