It is alleged that Apple is engaged in malpractices by meddling with the iOS of old iPhones to scale down its efficiency after the batteries weakened up to certain ballpark point. This was brought to light by Geekbench in their findings related to smartphone performance during their testings.
The tech firm mentioned in its blog post that it had analyzed numerous iPhone6 devices operating on iOS10.2.1 vsiOS 10.2 and observed that as against the single average point observed earlier, the score clutter was now observed at multiple points. This happens only when multiple tests are conducted on a device.
This change is attributed to a software update, which may seem minor, yet is capable of scaling down the performance of some devices. The effect was clearly visible with iOS 11.2. Before the release of iOS 11.2, iPhone 7 scored one level up for several parameters. However, post iOS 11.2 release, it was observed that the performance for the same parameters was at lower levels.
The entire matter was brought to the fore by a user who claimed in a Reddit thread that off late, his iPhone 6s has been running extremely slow and the issue was resolved post the battery replacement. The user ran Geekbench before and post the battery change and the scores improved dramatically. The original battery came with just 20% wear level. Several Reddit users shared similar experiences of lower performance inspite of not enabling the low power mode.
According to Geekbench blog post, while it is quite likely that the software update was done to resolve the thermal issues that occur in case of old batteries, the fact remains that the users were not informed. Such lower performance is attributed to deliberate scaling down the performance without intimating the users. This is seen as an attempt by Apple to compel users for frequent upgrades. Similar allegations are faced by other manufacturers as well.