iOS 11.3 Beta to Get Throttling Kill Switch in February as Apple Trials 'Reserve a Battery' System in Canada [Updated]

Following a report that the United States government is investigating Apple's power management function that slows down some older iPhone models, Apple issued a statement on late Tuesday confirming that it has "received questions from some government agencies" and is "responding to them."

iphone 6s battery toggle
In the statement, Apple also confirmed the timing of its promised power management toggle, allowing customers with an iPhone 6 through iPhone 7 Plus to disable the function: it will be rolling out in a future iOS 11.3 beta version in February. The software update will be publicly released later this spring.

Apple's full statement was shared by Axios earlier today:

About a year ago, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on certain iPhones with older batteries. We know that iPhones have become an important part of the daily lives of our customers and our intention was to improve the customer experience.

We sought to further improve the customer experience in December by announcing a significant discount on replacement batteries for certain iPhones. We also announced that we began developing a new iOS feature to show battery health and which would recommend when the user should consider replacing their battery. These actions were taken to further assist our customers and help extend the life of their iPhones. In addition, users will be able to see if the power management feature is being used to prevent unexpected shutdowns, and turn if off if they so choose. These features will be included in a developer release next month and a user release this Spring.

As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.

Apple's power management function can also be sidestepped by replacing an iPhone's battery if necessary. We've previously outlined steps on how to initiate this process at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

In related news, Apple recently added a "Reserve a Battery" option to its support website in Canada. This system, not available elsewhere yet, allows customers with an iPhone 6 or newer to reserve a battery online and have Apple contact them when a battery is available at their preferred Apple Store.

reserve a battery
This system can be found by signing into your Apple ID on Apple's Get Support page and selecting Battery, Power, and Charging → Battery Replacement → Reserve a Battery. These steps can also be completed in the Apple Store app on the iPhone itself without needing to enter a serial number.

A tipster named K.C. told us that Canada is a trial country, suggesting Apple may choose to expand this reservation system to other regions.

Apple promises to contact customers within three to five days to let them know when their battery replacement can be completed. Its support website currently quotes an estimated two to four week wait in Canada.

MacRumors previously obtained an internal Apple memo that stated iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries were in short supply and unavailable until late March or early April around the world. Apple's internal document quoted a shorter wait of "approximately two weeks" for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus batteries.

Apple said batteries for all other eligible iPhones were expected to be available "without extended delays" in most countries.

In addition to probes from the United States government, over 50 class action complaints have been filed against Apple since it fully disclosed the power management changes it made in iOS 10.2.1, nearly a year after the update was released. Apple apologized for its lack of communication in a letter to customers.

Update: While Apple has yet to add a dedicated "Reserve a Battery" button to its U.S. support site, the company is asking customers in the United States who need a battery replacement to contact Apple support via a phone call or online chat session to reserve a battery before visiting an Apple Store. Calling ahead of time should prevent customers from going to an Apple Store only to find that the necessary battery is out of stock.

Related Forum: iOS 11

Top Rated Comments

TimUSCA Avatar
79 months ago
"I'd like my phone to turn off unexpectedly instead of running slowly."

Choices are good, I guess.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChazSch Avatar
79 months ago
I am going to try this AND get free battery. They is no reason I should have 10 second delay on typing text messages and very slow email (all since ios11). They lied when they said it slows things down SOME. its a heck of a lot.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
timborama Avatar
79 months ago
"I'd like my phone to turn off unexpectedly instead of running slowly."

Choices are good, I guess.
I’d prefer “0% battery really means 0% battery” and “don’t throttle my phone” switch. I accept a device shutting down at 0%, but not at 30%.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
urkel Avatar
79 months ago
What will all the Apple haters who post on macrumors have to complain about now?
Blaming the consumer for product issues created by a corporation?

I'm an annual upgrader so I never experienced the speed throttling issue. But over the holidays I saw a lot of family and experienced their perspective of the throttling first hand. Its bad. Like, "This phone is unusable. I guess I should buy a new phone bad." And whether it was Apples intention or not, there are a lot of iPhones being sold to people who wouldn't have spent $800 for an upgrade if they knew that the solution to their awful phone experience was a battery pack or a $79 battery replacement.

Its a shame that this battery situation has come to this but the complaints are legitimate.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
UL2RA Avatar
79 months ago
"I'd like my phone to turn off unexpectedly instead of running slowly."

Choices are good, I guess.
This is what Apple said would happen ... not what real world users have said. So this claim remains to be seen. I have a feeling a lot of phones won't be randomly shutting down with this off. The incessant need to defend a claim from Apple without verifiable proof is a bit disconcerting.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacsRgr8 Avatar
79 months ago
I am an absolute Apple-lover, not hater.
But this switch was the obvious thing to do in the first place. Give the user the choice.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...