Is your battery slowing down your iPhone?

By 19 Jan 2018
iPhone battery performance problem fix

Have you noticed your older iPhone is slower than it used to be? 

Apple has revealed that they're slowing down older phones - but it's not what you think.

How can your battery be slowing down your phone?


The batteries used in modern smartphones have a limited shelf-life. Typically, after a year or so, they start to be able to keep less and less charge (meaning your phone won't last as long). Constant use, charging and recharging, all wear it down – something Apple refers to as 'Chemical ageing'.

Another side effect of a 'chemically aged' battery is that sometimes it can’t give your phone the power it needs to get things done. When that happens, your phone might start crashing or turning itself off.  Think of it a bit like an old car – it'll still get you from A to B, but try to get from 0-60 in few seconds, and you’ll probably break something.

iphone battery problem fix

Apple's update tries to stop your phone turning itself off

So, if you open something that needs a quick burst of power, and the battery can't give it, your phone will likely just switch itself off. It won’t happen all the time though – you’ll mostly notice it when your phone is down to 20-30% charge or being used in a cold environment.

Apple wasn’t happy about their users experiencing unexpected shutdowns on their phones, so about a year ago they released an update to their iOS software that changes the way power is managed on the phone.

That update means that there won't be any unexpected shutdowns on the phone.

On the other hand, that change also means that apps you use, and other power-heavy functions, will be slower than they used to. You might see things like:

  • Apps taking longer to open
  • Scrolling in apps might not be as smooth
  • Your screen brightness might be lower
  • Your speaker volume might be quieter
  • Apps might slow down a bit
  • The camera flash might be disabled
  • Apps might not stay open in the background.

Is your phone affected?


You should only see this problem on phones that have been used for a year or more, and it's most likely to affect these models:

  • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Apple hasn't confirmed if the problem will affect the newer iPhone 8, 8 Plus or iPhone X, and because of the feedback they've had, there's a good chance they might change things for those devices.

What can you do about it?


If you have one of the affected models, and you’re experiencing the issues, you have a couple of options:  get a new battery, or wait for an update from Apple.

Getting the battery replaced

As the problem is caused by an old battery, the simple solution is to get the battery replaced. You can get an iPhone battery replacement at any Carphone Warehouse for £29.99. If you’re unsure whether you need one, come in-store and our experts will complete a free check-up of your phone. You can use our Store Locator to find your nearest store here

Apple usually charges £79 for a battery replacement, but as a way of apologising for some of the communication around the problem, they're reducing that cost to £25. You can book in for a repair with Apple here – however, you might be waiting a little while for batteries for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and 6s Plus due to limited supplies. The lower price will be available until December 2018.

With a fresh battery, you'll see the performance of your phone go back to normal, and you shouldn't have any of the problems we've mentioned. 

Wait for an iPhone update

If you don’t want to get a new battery, Apple has also just announced that a future software update will give you the option of turning off these power management features. This will mean you get the full performance of your phone back, but you'll also be at risk of having the phone unexpectedly shut down.

Hopefully now you know what your options are.  If you're still in two minds though, contact one of our experts from Team Knowhow if you need us.

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