Apple’s revelation that it intentionally slows down older iPhones due to their aging batteries has created quite an uproar. The revelation has rocked the confidence of many in the company and has led many consumers to wonder if this is a common practice in the smartphone industry.
As it turns out though, Apple seems to be the only major OEM which intentionally slows down older iPhones on the pretext of aging batteries. Major Android OEMs like Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola have confirmed in a statement that they don’t indulge in such behavior and never intentionally slow down older phones through a software update.
An HTC spokesperson said that designing phones to slow down their processor as their battery ages “is not something we do.” A Motorola spokesperson said, “We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries.”
LG in its statement also took a potshot at Apple:
“Never have, never will! We care what our customers think.”
Samsung’s statement was also clear cut and confirmed that it does not slow down its older phones.
“We do not reduce CPU performance through software updates over the lifecycles of the phone.”
Interestingly, Android OEMs are known to put their phones in an overdrive mode while running certain benchmarks and games to inflate the final score. In regular use, the CPU inside these phones will never reach such high speeds due to thermal and power constraints. There was quite an uproar about this when this was first discovered and most Android OEMs have since then stopped indulging in such practice. However, even if Android OEMs put their phones into an overdrive mode to inflate benchmark scores, the ‘regular’ day-to-day performance of the device is good enough to not cause be a cause for concern. In comparison, Apple throttles down the CPU performance of older iPhones as they age which leads to them slowing down and increasing app load times.
What Apple has done here cannot be compared to what Android OEMs do. Apple’s move led to older iPhones slowing down while the move from Samsung, OnePlus and other Android OEMs led to their phones delivering higher than usual performance in benchmarks — something which barely has an impact on daily use and affects a consumer’s buying decision.
It is a different matter altogether that most Android OEMs intentionally delay software updates to their older smartphones and drop support for it soon after a year to focus on their newer models and push them to consumers. Unlike Apple though, they don’t intentionally slow down their older phones on the pretext of aging batteries and don’t even inform consumers about it.