I am an iPhone repairman and right to repair activist. Let's talk batteries!
So it turns out that Apple is slowing down phones with older batteries. Let's talk about why they did that, what you can do about it, and how we're all getting tricked into buying gadgets more often than we need.
Apple actually has some sound technical reasons for slowing down phones with older batteries. But they pulled the wool over our eyes by hiding how quickly these batteries wear out, and let people talk themselves into upgrading instead of putting in a relatively cheap new battery.
A lot of people have bought phones that the didn't need to, and that's a shame. Ask someone for help before you give up on your current phone.
What should you do if you've got an older phone?
Don't replace it! Get a new battery. You can find a local repair shop (the one in your mall will probably do a great job), take it to Apple, or even install one yourself.
Full disclosure: we sell replacement battery kits if you want to do it yourself. It sounds scary, but it's not very hard. We've helped 500,000 people do it just in the last month. https://www.ifixit.com/Kits
How often do batteries wear out?
It depends, but the rule of thumb is every 4-500 complete charges (or charge cycles). For most people, that’s every 18-24 months. Some batteries last a lot longer, some less.
I started iFixit, the free repair guide for everything. We've written open source repair guides to replace the batteries in most modern smartphones, including the iPhone. Here's some handy instructions for fixing any iPhone.
I've traveled all over the world promoting Right to Repair laws, which would require companies like Apple to sell you batteries (and other parts). Apple's been fighting me tooth and nail, but we’re picking up momentum.
Right to repair is supported by everyone from environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council to traditionally conservative groups like the Farm Bureau. Of course, it's opposed by Apple and their trade associations.