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iPhone: Downclock to CPU when the battery is depleted

11th December 2017

Apple may have introduced a new security system into its iOS devices with a damaged battery, according to testimonials. To avoid a too fast consumption of the remaining load, it seems that the operating system activates some kind of underperformance mode, lowering the CPU of the smartphone (downclock). This behavior was detected after some reports published in Reddit, in which some users published Geekbench test results before and after battery replacement.

As you can see from the comparison, the performance level recorded in the first test does not match the classic performance level of an iPhone 6s, equipped with SoC Apple A9, but is more similar to that of an iPhone 6 with SoC Apple A8. The score returned to the average as soon as the battery was replaced, further confirming the voluntary CPU drop.

iPhone Downclock image
iPhone 6s, whose battery wear rate was 20%.

Apple makes downclock without your knowledge

According to some users, this behavior, which is also observed in some iPhone 7, is linked to the case that made news almost a year ago, that is, the one related to the sudden blackout of some iPhone 6 and 6s. Fixed once and for all with the release of iOS 10.2.1, this problem seems to have been caused by the excessive power consumption of the SoC A8 and A9 when the smartphone battery showed a particularly high level of wear.

Therefore, Apple may have been avoiding the problem by introducing this particular solution, although there are currently no official statements from the Cupertino House. In addition, as a result of the above-mentioned event, iOS has begun to provide battery status indications, alerting the user when it is time to replace.

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