Geekbench Scores Try to Show Correlation Between Degrading iPhone Batteries and Reduced Performance

BY Evan Selleck

Published 18 Dec 2017

Earlier this month, a Reddit user brought attention to the possibility that Apple may be reducing iPhone performance as it relates to the gradual degradation of the smartphone’s battery.

The link saw some merit due to a software update that Apple released back at the beginning of 2017. iOS 10.2.1 was designed to reduce the number of random shutdowns that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s owners were experiencing, which Apple said was due to uneven power delivery in older batteries in those particular smartphones. Apple said the update fixed that particular issue, but it may have uncovered another, bigger issue for the company.

As reported earlier this year, there appears to be a link between a degrading iPhone’s battery and the device’s overall performance as a result. Now, Primal Labs founder, John Poole, has sorted through the kernel density of Geekbench 4 scores for the iPhone 6s and discovered that there may indeed be correlation between degrading batteries and reduce iPhone performance.

Here’s how Poole puts it:

“The distribution of iPhone 6s scores for iOS 10.2.0 appears unimodal with a peak around the average score. However, the distribution of iPhone 6s scores for iOS 10.2.1 appears multimodal, with one large peak around the average and several smaller peaks around lower scores. Under iOS 11.2.0 the effect is even more pronounced.”

Poole notes that the issue doesn’t just hinder the iPhone 6s and with only iOS 10.2.1, but also extends to the iPhone 7 and even iOS 11.2.0. Poole does not believe that the results bear out a simple coincidence, or just a function of battery condition. He believes that Apple implemented a “change to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point.”

Apple, for its part, did confirm that the random shutdown issue was affecting certain iPhone 6s models, and that the issue was related to batteries. The company did launch a replacement program, and the subsequent software update was meant to address the issue as well. However, if these results are any indicator, then it looks like Apple did indeed implement a feature that would degrade the iPhone’s performance in tandem with the lithium-ion battery’s decline.

If you still have an iPhone 6s, have you noticed anything like this? Or do you know anyone who has raised these similar concerns?

[via Geekbench]