Tech Friday: Apple slows down older iPhones. What to do?

Posted By on December 22, 2017

iphonebatteryThe big technology news this week  if you are an iPhone user is that Apple has a "feature" that slows down older iPhones with older batteries in order to protect users from unwanted crashes. Yes … your phone older phone will actually run slower.

According to CNET, the best option for owners of older iPhones is to:

  1. Buy a new phone
  2. Use a battery case
  3. Replace the battery

Of course the "new phone" is a bit drastic if the battery isn’t what it once was and your phone is still reasonable functional (iPhones 6s or 7s) … so perhaps a battery case would work?I used Mophie and Lenmar cases for years with the iPhone 5 and 5s believing they were the best few dollars I could have spent on a phone.

Now with the newer iPhone 7 (Brenda) and 7-plus (mine) … the battery life easily makes it through the entire day. I would be hard pressed to add the additional weight of a battery case to my Plus sized phone and would go for number 3 "when" my phones slows – replace the battery. If in my case it happens before Apple Care fades, it should be under warranty … if not, I might opt to open the case (voids the warranty).

CNET – The DIY Option:

BatteryREplacementHow hard can it be to replace an iPhone battery? Remove some screws, open up the case, take out the old battery, plug in the new one and you’re done, right?

Right. Except those screws are tiny. The case is hard to get open. Inside, you have to remove a bunch more screws and some fragile ribbon cables just to get to the battery. Which is glued in place. Then you have to do it all in reverse.

If you’ve never ventured inside an iPhone before, this can be some nerve-wracking surgery. It helps to have video-tutorial guidance (see below), but trust me when I say it’s easy to make a mistake. And if you flub along the way, you’ll brick your phone.

The DIY option, however, is definitely the cheapest. Replacement battery kits are available from Amazon, eBay and countless other sources, most of them priced anywhere from $10-$30. Personally, I recommend spending a few dollars more to buy from a reputable (and customer-reviewed) vendor on Amazon.

For example, this iPhone 6 Plus battery kit sells for about $30 and looks very similar to what you can find on eBay for about $11, but comes with detailed instructions (both print and video), a one-year warranty and customer support (via email). Of particular interest, it has a 4.5-star rating from over 150 customers, suggesting that a large majority of buyers were successful in their installation attempt and happy with the result.

Although this and similar kits come with the tools you need, I definitely recommend adding a tabletop magnifying lamp to the mix. For my aging eyes, at least, it greatly simplifies working with the iPhone’s tiny screws and cables.

As for the battery itself, it’s a crap-shoot: Ideally you want something that’s "genuine OEM," but it’s hard to be certain what you’re getting. That’s all the more reason to spend a little extra and go with a rated vendor.


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