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MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) — Apple is confirming it slows down the performance of older iPhones to reduce power demands.
In a statement, Apple said “Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a lower battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.”

Tech analysts and angry customers have reported in recent days that operating system updates had caused older iPhones to slow considerably, with some suggesting that Apple could be using the tactic to encourage fans to buy new phones.

Apple insists the updates were made with a different goal in mind, to simply protect the components.

The company said its software updates for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 are designed to “smooth out” peak power demands, prevent these surprise shutdowns and ultimately prolong the lifespan of batteries.

But the updates can also lead to disappointing speeds.

Doron Myersdorf, CEO instant-charging battery startup StoreDot, said that “smoothing out” means that phones will reorder incoming commands to make sure not all of them are done in parallel.

“The inevitable outcome of it will be an inherent slowdown of the average response times by the system,” he explained.

Apple said in its statement that it will continue to use the feature with other products in the future.

The revelation sparked an outcry among Apple fans, with some suggesting they may switch to rival Samsung.

“Since Apple admits they slow down old iPhones I’ll admit I probably won’t buy a new iPhone,” said Twitter user Jeff Zenisek.

(©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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