Is Apple Slowing Down Old iPads too?

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 19 Jan 2018

iPad Air Battery

Ever since Apple acknowledged that it was slowing down iPhones with degraded batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns, we have got a lot of questions from our readers.

One of the frequently asked questions is whether the power management feature affects iPads as well.

The short answer is: No.

Why is Apple Not Slowing Down Old iPads?

It is not accurate to say that Apple is slowing down old iPhones or old iPads. Apple is only slowing down iPhones with degraded batteries. Sure, batteries degrade over time, so the power management feature is likely to affect old iPhones, but if you replace the battery with a new one, it won’t slow down your old iPhone.

The reason Apple is not slowing down iPads with degraded batteries is because iPads come with much bigger batteries, so even if their batteries get degraded over time, they don’t seem to run into issues like the iPhones such as unexpected shutdowns. For example, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that are powered by A8 chip come with an 1810 mAh and 2915 mAh battery, whereas the iPad Air 2 that is powered by A8X, a faster version of A8 chip, comes with a 7340 mAh battery. So as you can see the iPads come with almost thrice the capacity of the iPads.

Here’s the official statement from Apple:

With a low battery state of charge, a higher chemical age, or colder temperatures, users are more likely to experience unexpected shutdowns. In extreme cases, shutdowns can occur more frequently, thereby rendering the device unreliable or unusable. iOS 10.2.1 (Released January 2017) includes updates for previous models of iPhone to prevent them from unexpectedly shutting down. This includes a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE to dynamically manage the instantaneous performance peaks, only when needed, to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down. This capability was also extended to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with iOS 11.2, and we will continue improving our power management feature in the future. This feature’s only intent is to prevent unexpected shutdowns so that the iPhone can still be used.

As you can see, Apple has clearly stated that the Power Management feature only affects iPhones such as iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

But it is quite possible that some very old iPads with degraded batteries are facing issues such as unexpected shutdowns. But Apple doesn’t seem to think that it is so widespread that the Power management feature should be extended to iPads as well.

Can Apple Extend the Power Management Feature to iPads?

It cannot be ruled out. Apple added the power management feature first for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE in iOS 10.2.1, which was released in January 2017, and then added the feature to iOS 11.2 in December 2017, so it is possible that Apple extends the power management feature that slows down older iPhones to iPads as well. But the chances are less as the iPads come with much bigger batteries.

Apple also plans to provide more visibility on the battery health and provide users with an option to disable the power management feature. So if Apple does extend the power management feature to iPads then you will have the option to turn it off.

But My iPad is Slow, so I suspect iPads are also affected.

Firstly, it is a misconception that the power management feature will make your iPhone slow all the time. It will only slow down iPhones “to dynamically manage the instantaneous performance peaks, only when need”.

If your iPad is slow all the time, then it is possible that there’s something wrong with it other than the battery. You may want to try taking a backup of your iPad and restoring it.  I would recommend setting it up as a new iPad, to see if it solves the performance issues. We have seen several performance issues after a major iOS update, getting resolved after readers have restored their iPads.

If Apple had extended the power management feature for iPads, it would have clearly mentioned the models that are affected.

If you’re facing unexpected shutdowns with your iPad then it is probably because your battery has degraded, and needs to be replaced.

You can also check our article to check your iPad’s battery health.

Any other Questions?

Please free to drop me a line if you’ve any questions.

➤ 5 Things Apple Should Have Done to Handle the iPhone Battery Controversy Better