Apple’s iOS 13.1 is set to launch on September 24, just four short days after the launch of iOS 13 on September 19, and according to an Apple support page, Apple will add a processor throttling feature to the iPhone XS and XR with the update.
The feature itself was first discovered in iPhones in 2017 and proved to be controversial. It’s aimed at limiting the performance of iPhone models to prevent them from shutting down due to aging batteries — but the result, as you might expect, is an iPhone that runs slower than it otherwise would. Throttling gets heavier as the battery continues to age, your phone will perform much faster if the battery is replaced.
When the feature was discovered, Apple ended up detailing exactly how it works in an effort to calm backlash. The company also offered discounted battery replacements to users with some iPhone models, ensuring that devices that might otherwise be throttled could return to their full performance. Not only that, but it even added a switch in the Settings app that allowed users to turn off the processor throttling, though of course, users found that their phone might shut down, especially in processor-heavy situations.
That said, Apple seems to have been working on the feature to refine it a little, and it says that newer iPhone models are better at power monitoring and the impact of the processor throttling shouldn’t be quite as obvious. That more advanced hardware was first introduced on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, but was also present on the iPhone XR and iPhone XS.
Apple has yet to disclose whether or not the iPhone 11 range will eventually get processor throttling. However, a report from 9to5Mac notes that an Apple Support page mentions that the new phones offer an even more advanced power monitoring system. That system can manage performance, so it’s possible there’s some kind of processor management in place from the start. Presumably, that system will work more as the battery ages, though hopefully the effects of that won’t be felt quite as hard as on older phones.
While Apple did face backlash, the simple fact is that as batteries degrade over time, they’re unable to provide as much power over time as they once could. As a result, performance needs to take a hit to ensure that the device stays powered on.