iPhone users around the world have had a long-standing allegation that Apple is deliberately making old iPhones slower so that they have to upgrade to a newer model. With each iOS update, Twitter is flooded with complaints of slow systems, and if you've felt like your old iPhone has been slowing down lately, you're not paranoid. Turns out Apple is doing it on purpose.

The tech giant issued a rare statement on Thursday admitting to slowing down old iPhone devices, saying they have used software updates to limit the performance of older iPhones and prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly. It's a way of protecting the devices' components, according to Apple.

The statement comes after angry customers and tech analysts recently reported that operating system updates had caused older iPhones to slow considerably. Obviously, everyone jumped to the conclusion that Apple is using this tactic to force them to upgrade. 

But Apple insists the updates were made with a different goal in mind. Basically, iPhones use lithium-ion batteries, which degrade over time. After 500 charge cycles, the iPhone battery is designed to retain only 80% of its original capacity. As the battery dwindles, it can no longer handle challenging tasks like apps.

So the tech giant's software updates for "older" iPhone models - iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 - are therefore designed to "smooth out" these power demands and prevent surprise shutdowns. But the updates can also lead to sluggish system speeds.

In any case, it can be extremely frustrating when your phone - which is in most cases a lifeline - starts to act up. The best fix isn't running into the Apple Shop and buying the latest iPhone though. It's replacing your battery. 

Apple Support can run a test that will check your iPhone's battery, or the battery page in Settings will show a notification if its time to get a replacement.

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