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Circuit Breaker

Samsung and LG say they don’t slow phones with older batteries like Apple

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Following Apple’s apology for its lack of communication over how it manages iPhones with older batteries, Samsung and LG have come out to say that none of their phones employ similar practices. Both companies emailed Phone Arena to say that they don’t slow down their phones’ processors as their batteries age. LG said, “Never have, never will! We care what our customers think.” Samsung said, “We do not reduce CPU performance through software updates over the lifecycles of the phone.”

Samsung and LG’s responses come a day after The Verge reported statements from HTC and Motorola, with both companies saying they did not throttle their phones’ performance as batteries age. Taken together, the statements make it clear that Apple’s battery management practices aren’t standard industry behavior. Whether that’s because other phones don’t need this kind of performance adjustment or that’s because other companies didn’t think to do this is something we can’t say, but the broad frustration and confusion over the issue suggests Apple went too far.

After iPhone owners published benchmarks last week showing the phone’s processor being slowed, Apple acknowledged the behavior, saying it was done to preserve phone performance as their batteries aged. The decreased performance was meant to prevent random shutdowns, and as Apple said yesterday, is one of many battery preservation techniques it employs. While it doesn’t sound like Apple plans to stop this practice — since the general intention of extending the device’s usefulness is a good one — it does seem to be taking steps to be much more transparent with iPhone owners. And hopefully, in the future, it’ll make iPhones that don’t need these adjustments quite so soon.