How to Tell If Your iPhone Battery Is Dead and needs a Replacement – A battery upgrade may assist if Apple’s iOS is deliberately slowing down your phone. However, don’t take that costly step without first checking for forced ‘performance management.’
Apple confirmed not long ago—in December 2017—that it was intentionally slowing down iPhones over time. This was ostensibly done to ensure that you didn’t slam your phone against a wall following an OS upgrade since the batteries within were becoming a performance stumbling block and occasionally triggering unexpected shutdowns. On previous iPhones, Apple reduced the battery output to the CPU, allowing the battery to survive a little longer and preventing shutdowns.
The performance reduction was detected after an earlier iPhone’s battery was replaced, restoring full functionality. Which would have been a good thing if the people had been informed beforehand.
In response to the uproar, Apple made replacement batteries for select older iPhone models available for $29 for the entire year of 2018. Apple, on the other hand, has not stopped throttling older iPhones. The difference is that it will now tell you about it. And by tell, I mean that you can check for the information in the battery settings on your iPhone.
Is your iPhone’s battery capacity down to the point that it needs to be replaced? If you’re confined at home, this might be a worrying process for your expensive lifeline to all connectivity. It’s also not cheap. If you go through Apple, it costs $49 for iPhones from models 6 to 8, as well as the old and new SE variants, and $69 for the X, XS, XS Max, XR, and all iPhone 11 models.
It could mean giving up your iPhone for a few days. Apple Stores might be able to do it over the lunch hour, but who knows when they’ll be fully operational again? Any third-party repair shop is likely to be the same; if you go to one, make sure they wash their hands.
Before you make a decision, look into the statistics regarding your iPhone’s battery to see if a replacement is really necessary. Rest confident that if you keep your iPhone long enough, it will be justified.
Be wary of the term “performance management.”
Apple included Battery Health to iOS 11.3, which was launched in March 2018, in order to save face in the wake of the BatteryGate legal fights. (Apple eventually agreed to pay $25 to each person affected as part of a class-action lawsuit; the total cost to Apple will be between $310 and $500 million.)
The Battery Health option exists to provide the tiniest amount of information on an iPhone’s battery capacity and whether iOS is slowing it down. If your battery is below 100 percent capacity and you have one unexpected shutdown, iOS is supposed to restrict the power to the CPU.
Go to Settings > Battery in iOS 11.3 or later. Apple has added nice bar graphs to the bottom of the page that display your iPhone’s battery charge and screen activity over the last 24 hours or 10 days.
You may also examine the total amount of battery used by each app. That’s a handy method to see if an app is using all of your battery life in the background, but it’s largely about activity time. (You can switch between Activity and Battery Usage at any time.)
Tap Battery Health above all of those. This is the most crucial section. A percentage of how much your battery can hold now compared to when it was brand new is displayed next to Maximum Capacity. The lower it goes, the worse things are for all the lithium-ion batteries inside that keep the lights on.
The one to keep an eye on is Peak Performance Capability. “Your battery is currently sustaining regular peak performance,” it might say. That indicates it’s operating within normal norms, as Data used to say on Star Trek.
It may, however, remark “Because the battery was unable to produce the required peak power, this iPhone went down unexpectedly. To help prevent this from happening again, performance management has been implemented.”
That last paragraph is a beautiful way of expressing “for your own good, we throttled the power to your CPU.” Thankfully, you should be able to off performance management straight away.
Be warned that if the phone shuts down unexpectedly again, iOS will apply performance management throttling all over again, blaming it on the poor battery being eaten dry by the CPU.
You might also get a notice saying that the status of your iPhone battery can’t be determined or that it’s enough degraded that it’s time to replace it. That usually doesn’t happen until the maximum capacity has dropped below 80% after 500 full charge cycles (read more about that in our story about battery myths).
Apple disabled apps from viewing the battery capacity or charge cycle number with the iOS 11.3 upgrade. Cupertino, you did a great job of keeping things transparent. Download an app like Lirum Device Info Lite for more information on what’s going on within the iPhone. It doesn’t look at battery information, but it does track the performance of your iPhone chip under This Device > CPU > CPU Actual Clock (versus the CPU Maximum Clock; you want to see the same number for both). Performance changes will be seen in real time.
You won’t be able to perform any of this with your iPad or iPod touch. Because Apple doesn’t throttle iPads and iPod touches, Battery Health is only available on iPhones. The charts that show charge levels and screen activity, on the other hand, are available.
There aren’t many options for counting how many charge cycles your iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) has gone through, but there are some desktop apps that can help. CoconutBattery 3 for macOS and iBackupBot for Windows, both $35, can take data from an iDevice connected to a PC and display the “cycle count” figure, among other things. Your iPhone battery has seen better days if it has been charged more than 500 times; for the iPad, the limit is closer to 1,000 cycles (it has a bigger battery).
Make the decision to upgrade
So, what are the requirements for obtaining a new battery? Consider it if the performance management kicks in too frequently or if the CPU Actual Clock number in the Lirum Device Info app drops significantly. If your iPhone’s Peak Performance Capability states your battery health is “seriously impaired,” you should definitely upgrade.
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