Not that long ago someone figured out that Apple was throttling older iPhone models when their batteries reached a specific point of degradation, and Batterygate was born. Was that throttling designed to get users to think their iPhones were slow and give them an incentive to buy a new one?
Or, was the throttling designed to prevent an iPhone from crashing during a peak operation, as Apple claims? Was this weakened battery and crashing ever a problem that anyone can remember on iPhone or Android smartphone?
First, it is unlikely that Apple had a built-in planned obsolescence program to motive customers to buy new iPhones. Even the hint of evidence at such a plan would cause an uproar greater than Batterygate. Yet, here we are just weeks later and dozens of lawsuits have been filed accusing Apple of exactly that. What we don’t know and what I haven’t read anywhere yet is whether or not the throttling was noticeable on a mass scale. After all, iPhone customers have long suspected that new versions of iOS made their older phones run slower but there are benchmarks which prove otherwise.
Second, Batterygate exactly as Apple has stated; an attempt to manage the user experience by preventing such crashes, however infrequent, as a battery decayed and depleted beyond a certain amount? Apple knows. We do not, but for the vast majority of iPhone customers, the battery issue is a non-issue. Technologists love the conflict and drama, ambulance chasing lawyers love the monetary opportunity, but what do customers say?
Finally, is this battery crashing after a few hundred full charges really a thing? Over the past decade I’ve owned and used about every iPhone model available until the past couple of years when the line was too large and long to own everything, and the number of times an iPhone crashed and restarted can be counted on one hand with a few fingers left over. Usually, when such a problem occurs it’s because of, 1) a software issue, often fixed with a new update, or, 2) faulty hardware. I’ve experienced #1 and only once #2 (Jesse’s iPhone was faulty and replaced), but never had anything remotely similar to the battery crashing or throttling seen with Batterygate.
My unofficial Mincey co-workers, friends, family members, and neighborhood survey found mostly what you would expect. Batterygate is a non-issue among most iPhone owners. A few had experienced a crash or two, usually fixed with the next iOS update– the cause mostly remains unknown; hardware or software. A few had noticed that an older iPhone’s battery would not keep a charge as long as it did when new, and some of those replaced their iPhone battery rather than buy a new one. Yet a few others complained that their four-year-old iPhones seemed to run slower after a recent iOS upgrade, but the vast majority didn’t notice any issue, and many of those were not aware of Batterygate at all despite it being a media thing for awhile.
Most of the Android smartphone users I asked about the same issue didn’t even know that smartphones could be upgraded.
Ask around. I think you’ll find iPhone Batterygate is a non-issue among the billion or so iPhone customers on planet earth.
Oh, one more thing. If you have an iPhone– from iPhone 5s to SE, from 7 to 8 or iPhone X– and you want more battery life, turn on Low Power Mode. That’s the best battery saving tip I’ve ever seen.