Motorola and HTC confirmed they aren’t employing the practice of throttling older devices as their batteries age which Apple was recently caught doing with its iPhones. In a statement provided to The Verge, both companies categorically dismissed such activities as something that isn’t part of their M.O. More original equipment manufacturers are expected to follow suit in the coming days, whereas others that may have throttled their smartphones in the past could be looking to undo the effects of doing so after Apple was already targeted by several lawsuits seeking class-action status.
The Cupertino, California-based company admitted to its throttling practices following an extensive effort on the part of some users to document a gradual decline in processor speeds of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 lineups. The company said it opted for such a move in order to prevent scenarios in which handsets suddenly shut down after the SoC’s power demands surpass the capabilities of a deteriorated battery, which usually happens when the chip is looking to run at its peak operating frequency. The gradual downclocking endeavor was met with significant backlash from the general public and Android OEMs are now also under scrutiny, though no other company has yet confirmed to have ever employed such techniques or was proven to be doing so. Should downclocking be revealed as a common industry practice, manufacturers that favor it are likely to use similar arguments to the ones presented by Apple which claimed its efforts were aimed at extending the overall life of aging phones. Some critics remain adamant that the move is part of a wider planned obsolescence endeavor, claiming that Apple’s logic cannot be applied to devices that are only a year old, especially since the throttling wasn’t clearly disclosed to customers.
Smartphone batteries have been improving at a rapid pace in recent times, though the majority of their advancements were aimed at reducing the rate at which their effective capacity deteriorates and not the degradation of peak output voltage that eventually falls beneath a certain threshold required for a chip to run at a maximum clock speed. Other Android phone makers are expected to comment on the matter in the coming weeks, shortly after the holiday season is over.