iPhone Battery and Performance

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  iPhone Battery and Performance
  iPhone Battery and Performance

Understand iPhone performance and its relation to your battery.

Your iPhone is designed to deliver an experience that is simple and easy to use. This is only possible through a combination of advanced technologies and sophisticated engineering. One important technology area is battery and performance. Batteries are a complex technology, and a number of variables contribute to battery performance and related iPhone performance. All rechargeable batteries are consumables and have a limited lifespan—eventually their capacity and performance decline such that they need to be replaced. As batteries age, it can contribute to changes in iPhone performance. We created this information for those who would like to learn more.

About lithium-ion batteries

iPhone batteries use lithium-ion technology. Compared with older generations of battery technology, lithium-ion batteries charge faster, last longer, and have a higher power density for more battery life in a lighter package. Rechargeable lithium-ion technology currently provides the best technology for your device. Learn more about lithium-ion batteries.

How to maximize battery performance

“Battery life” is the amount of time a device runs before it needs to be recharged. “Battery lifespan” is the amount of time a battery lasts until it needs to be replaced. One factor affecting battery life and lifespan is the mix of things you do with your device. No matter how you use it, there are ways to help. A battery’s lifespan is related to its “chemical age,” which is more than just the passage of time. It includes different factors, such as the number of charge cycles and how it was cared for. Follow these tips to maximize battery performance and help extend battery lifespan. For example, keep iPhone half-charged when it’s stored for the long term. Also avoid charging or leaving iPhone in hot environments, including direct sun exposure, for extended periods of time.

When batteries chemically age

All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age. 

As lithium-ion batteries chemically age, the amount of charge they can hold diminishes, resulting in shorter amounts of time before a device needs to be recharged. This can be referred to as the battery’s maximum capacity—the measure of battery capacity relative to when it was new. In addition, a battery’s ability to deliver maximum instantaneous performance, or “peak power,” may decrease. In order for a phone to function properly, the electronics must be able to draw upon instantaneous power from the battery. One attribute that affects this instantaneous power delivery is the battery’s impedance. A battery with a high impedance may be unable to provide sufficient power to the system that needs it. A battery’s impedance can increase if a battery has a higher chemical age. A battery’s impedance will temporarily increase at a low state of charge and in a cold temperature environment. When coupled with a higher chemical age, the impedance increase will be more significant. These are characteristics of battery chemistry that are common to all lithium-ion batteries in the industry.

When power is pulled from a battery with a higher level of impedance, the battery’s voltage will drop to a greater degree. Electronic components require a minimum voltage to properly operate. This includes the device’s internal storage, power circuits, and the battery itself. The power management system determines the capability of the battery to supply this power, and manages the loads in order to maintain operations. When the operations can no longer be supported with the full capabilities of the power management system, the system will perform a shutdown to preserve these electronic components. While this shutdown is intentional from the device perspective, it may be unexpected by the user.

Preventing unexpected shutdowns

With a low battery state of charge, a higher chemical age, or colder temperatures, users are more likely to experience unexpected shutdowns. In extreme cases, shutdowns can occur more frequently, thereby rendering the device unreliable or unusable. For iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st Battery Health

For iPhone 6 and later, iOS 11.3 and later add new features to show battery health and recommend if a battery needs to be replaced. These can be found in Settings > Battery > Battery Health.

Additionally, users can see if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and can choose to turn it off. This feature is enabled only after an unexpected shutdown first occurs on a device with a battery that has diminished ability to deliver maximum instantaneous power. This feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. Starting with iOS 12.1, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X include this feature; iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR include this feature starting with iOS 13.1. The effects of performance management on these newer models may be less noticeable due to their more advanced hardware and software design.

(Note: Devices updating from iOS 11.2.6 or earlier will initially have performance management disabled; it will be reenabled if the device subsequently experiences an unexpected shutdown.)

All iPhone models include fundamental performance management to ensure that the battery and overall system operates as designed and internal components are protected. This includes behavior in hot or cold temperatures, as well as internal voltage management. This type of performance management is required for safety and expected function, and cannot be turned off.

generation), iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus, iOS dynamically manages performance peaks to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down so that the iPhone can still be used. This performance management feature is specific to iPhone and does not apply to any other Apple products. Starting with iOS 12.1, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X include this feature; iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR include this feature starting with iOS 13.1. The effects of performance management on these newer models may be less noticeable due to their more advanced hardware and software design.

This performance management works by looking at a combination of the device temperature, battery state of charge, and battery impedance. Only if these variables require it, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. As a result, the device workloads will self-balance, allowing a smoother distribution of system tasks, rather than larger, quick spikes of performance all at once. In some cases, a user may not notice any differences in daily device performance. The level of perceived change depends on how much performance management is required for a particular device.

In cases that require more extreme forms of this performance management, the user may notice effects such as:

Longer app launch times

Lower frame rates while scrolling

Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center)

Lower speaker volume by up to -3dB

Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps

During the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI

Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch

Many key areas are not impacted by this performance management feature. Some of these include:

Cellular call quality and networking throughput performance

Captured photo and video quality

GPS performance

Location accuracy

Sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer

Apple Pay

For a low battery state of charge and colder temperatures, performance management changes are temporary. If a device battery has chemically aged far enough, performance management changes may be more lasting. This is because all rechargeable batteries are consumables and have a limited lifespan, eventually needing to be replaced. If you are impacted by this and would like to improve your device performance, replacing your device battery can help.

For iOS 11.3 and later

iOS 11.3 and later improve this performance management feature by periodically assessing the level of performance management necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns. If the battery health is able to support the observed peak power requirements, the amount of performance management will be lowered. If an unexpected shutdown occurs again, then performance management will increase. This assessment is ongoing, allowing more adaptive performance management. Your battery’s maximum capacity

The Battery Health screen includes information on maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability. 

Maximum battery capacity measures the device battery capacity relative to when it was new. A battery will have lower capacity as the battery chemically ages which may result in fewer hours of usage between charges. Depending upon the length of time between when the iPhone was made and when it is activated, your battery capacity may show as slightly less than 100%.

A normal battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles when operating under normal conditions. The one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers battery service for a charge. Learn more about charge cycles.

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As your battery health degrades, so can its ability to deliver peak performance. The Battery Health screen includes a section for Peak Performance Capability where the following messages may appear.

iPhone 8 and later use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery’s power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8 and later. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.

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