Apple calls it a feature, one that it was recently fined millions of dollars in Italy for. The company acknowledged it as such after reports revealed that the company’s older handsets would throttle processors. Some felt Apple was doing this to push customers to upgrade to a newer model but it had a different explanation. This functionality has now been added to the iPhone X and other models from last year.
This feature is there to prevent accidental shutdowns caused by a load spike that the degrading batteries on older iPhones can’t keep up with. It manages this by throttling the processor to limit load spikes. Apple started rolling out iOS 12.1 yesterday and the update brings this feature to the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus. The feature can be disabled if users so desire.
The company did mention on a support page that iPhone 8 and later have a more advanced hardware and software design. It can provide a more accurate estimate of the power needs and the battery’s capability of maximizing system performance. “As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8 and later,” the company writes.
It has now updated that page to reflect that the “iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X include this feature, but performance management may be less noticeable due to their more advanced hardware and software design.” This page previously mentioned all other iPhone models except the ones from last year.