Apple included a software feature with iOS 10.2.1 in early 2017 that throttles the mobile operating system in an effort to stop random shutdowns on older iPhones.
That situation has devolved in a big way for Apple ever since the slowing down of older iPhones was discovered at the tail-end of 2017. Just recently it was reported that Apple is considering sending out rebates to customers who purchased full-price iPhone batteries before the company implemented its own $29 battery replacement program.
That bit of information was revealed today in a letter that Apple sent to the United States Senate, following a query from Senator John Thune (R-SD). That letter also revealed that the same software features that Apple introduced in the previous version of iOS for older iPhones might not be necessary in newer iPhones, because the company has introduced “hardware updates” into newer iPhones that address the same battery issues.
Thune had asked apple if the company planned on issuing a “similar software update … for newer phone models”, to which Apple replied:
“iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models include hardware updates that allow a more advanced performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown.”
Apple also notes in its response that “all iPhones have basic performance management”, but doesn’t indicate how much of that is based on software and how much of that is based on hardware. Apple doesn’t go into detail on what the hardware upgrades are, nor does it necessarily say that it won’t, at some point in the future, roll out software updates that may address other battery-related issues at a future date, or as the new iPhones become old iPhones.
The fact that Apple included hardware changes to address older issues isn’t a surprise in the slightest. However, it’s worth noting again that while Apple admits there are hardware changes in the newer iPhones, it isn’t necessarily saying that future software updates won’t be necessary, either. Will Apple be more up front about the situation if that time does arrive? We’ll have to wait and see.
[via The Verge]