With iOS 12.1, Apple brought its controversy "performance management function" (also known as "throttling" or slowing down) for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The function dynamically strangles the processor of the phone as its battery degrades over time to prevent random deactivation.
Months ago, Apple told US senators that "hardware upgrades" meant that the feature was not needed on their new phones.
The company has always maintained that all of its products include the "fundamental performance management" feature to protect its components. On a support page, Apple explains the function says the following on the iPhone 8 and later devices:
"IPhone 8 and later uses a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimate of power needs and battery capacity to maximize overall system performance, enabling a different performance management system that enables iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected blackout more accurately.Therefore, the impact of performance management may be less noticeable in iPhone 8 and later.Overall, the rechargeable batteries of all iPhone models decrease their capacity and maximum performance and, over time, must be replaced. "
However, with the recent launch of iOS 12.1, this same support page has been silently updated with the following:
"In addition, users can see if the performance management function that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected blackouts is enabled and can choose to turn it off …. This feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Starting with iOS 12.1, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X include this feature, but performance management may be less obvious due to its hardware design and more advanced software. "
This practice of slowing down older devices has recently resulted in fine of 5 million euros against Apple in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Italian competition and market authority, the Competition and Market Authority (AGCM). The agency has challenged Apple to slow down its phones without informing customers or giving them the opportunity to return to an earlier version of the software.
With all the recently added models that are just over a year old, it is currently unclear what the impact of battery degradation will have on them.