Conspiracy theorists have always believed that Apple slowed down older iPhone models to encourage users to upgrade. Yet this alleged plot, also known as “planned obsolescence”, isn’t to blame; instead, Apple says it is throttling performance to prevent random shutdowns.
While its reasoning is sound, the fact remains that Apple kept quiet about its actions and only broke its silence when all of the evidence stacked against it was too high to ignore. But what if it isn’t just Apple? What if this is a standard industry practice? Or more specifically:
What if every smartphone you’ve ever owned has been throttled to prevent battery issues, including those running Android?
The folks over at The Verge reached out to a bunch of major Android OEMs – Google, Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, and Motorola – to get a definitive answer on all of these concerns. Thankfully, it seems like Android users don’t have anything to worry about… so far, at least.
Only two of the manufacturers listed, HTC and Motorola, actually responded, but their statements are blunt and absolute. A spokesperson for HTC told the publication that CPU throttling over time “is not something we do”, while a Motorola representative said: “We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries.”
While the two statements indicate that Android owners can rest easy knowing that their phones will age gracefully, the overall issue surrounding battery degradation still applies to the majority of flagship Android devices.
Apple has been heavily criticized over how much it charges customers to replace aging batteries, but any unit with a sealed battery effectively ruins any change of a cheap replacement service. With this in mind, should replaceable batteries make a comeback?