Apple has acknowledged what many iPhone owners long suspected: It has slowed older phones.
The tech giant issued a rare statement of explanation on Thursday, saying that it has used software updates to limit the performance of older iPhones that may have battery issues that would cause them to turn off suddenly.
Tech analysts and angry customers have reported in recent days that operating system updates had caused older iPhones to slow considerably, with some suggesting that Apple could be using the tactic to encourage fans to buy new phones.
Apple insists the updates were made with a different goal in mind: It said the performance of lithium-ion batteries degrades over time, which can sometimes cause phones to suddenly shut down in order to protect their components.
The company said its software updates for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 are designed to “smooth out” peak power demands, prevent these surprise shutdowns and ultimately prolong the lifespan of batteries.
But the updates can also lead to disappointing speeds.
“Since Apple admits they slow down old iPhones I’ll admit I probably won’t buy a new iPhone,” said Twitter user Jeff Zenisek.
Since Apple admits they slow down old iPhones I'll admit I probably won't buy a new iPhone
— Jeff Zenisek (@jeffzenisek) December 21, 2017