Apple’s latest admission that it released a software update in the past to slow down older iPhones (#iPhone 6, #iPhone6S and #iPhoneSE) is a confirmation of many users’ observation that their devices appeared to encounter slow performance problems after an update. Said admission also answers an issue that seems to plague a lot of iPhone 6 users — the mysterious shut down out of nowhere. In this troubleshooting episode, we give you an answer why that is so. We also cover a few other related issues.
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Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:
Problem 1: iPhone 6 screen turns grey and won’t turn on, Apple admits slowing down older iPhones
While using my phone, the screen just turned a dark grey, even if I turned it off and on. So I held the power and home button and the screen just went black. Even if I held the power button the turn it on, it didn’t change. It was fully charged as well. I had connected it to my computer and restored it but that didn’t change anything. I don’t understand what happened and how to fix it. Any ideas? — Georgia
Solution: Hi Georgia. Apple’s own admission that it intentionally released an update to slow down older iPhones to preserve dwindling battery capacities may be to blame here. Because Lithium-ion batteries like the one in your iPhone degrades with continued use, it will eventually come to a point when it may no longer be able to supply the necessary power to allow a device to work normally. The more a Lithium-based battery accumulates charging cycles (discharging and charging), the shorter its capacity becomes. As this happen, it may also provide insufficient power to energize the processor at full speed. In general, your iPhone will automatically shut itself down when it detects the battery is unable to provide ample power to energize the entire motherboard properly. Because insufficient power can potentially kill the processor and other internal components, Apple devised a way to limit the processor’s speed in order not to stress the battery too much.
“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions,” said an Apple spokesperson. “We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”
While some folks already went to court over this, we don’t think Apple did any wrongdoing. Given the situation, Apple’s method of protecting older iPhones can be an acceptable solution. Apple did mention though that a permanent way to fix the problem is by replacing the battery. However, given that it’s borderline impossible to remove an iPhone’s battery, you’ll most likely end up investing more than just the price of a replacement battery. If you’ll go the route of letting Apple replace the battery itself, you can do so if you’ll pay them $79 to replace the battery.
Keep in mind that there’s no software troubelshooting that you can perform if your phone won’t turn on at all. If you’ve already allowed your iPhone to charge for at least 30 minutes without any obvious sign of it powering up, it’s time that you let Apple or an independent technician check the hardware.
Problem 2: iPhone SE fails to turn back on, not responding
Hi! I have an iPhone SE (64 GB) which was purchased last year in July 2016 from U.S. My phone’s memory was almost full and I was planning to back up all my data on my system but suddenly next day what I see is that my phone is completely switched off and I’m not able to restart it. With the help from Apple Support, I tried restarting my phone through recovery mode but all the efforts failed. Apple won’t repair it and they will simply replace it, which doesn’t serve the purpose. Can you please help me sort out this issue? Thanks in advance. Regards. — Devaki25
Solution: Hi Devaki25. Your issue is most probably similar to Georgia’s above. Try to see if you can boot the phone up via DFU Mode first. If you’re lucky and it comes back up, you can then proceed to updating the device before using it again. If the phone stays off and won’t turn on at all, contact Apple and ask them to replace the battery.
Below are the steps on how to update your device via DFU Mode:
- In your computer, close all active apps.
- Open iTunes.
- Turn off your iPhone. If you can’t turn it off normally, let the battery drain to 0% so the phone powers down on its own. Charge the phone for at least an hour without attempting to turn it on.
- Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable.
- Press and hold the Power button for at least 3 seconds.
- Press and hold the Volume Down button on the left side of the iPhone while continuing to hold the Power button. Be sure to hold both Power and Volume Down keys for 10 seconds. If Apple logo appears at this time, repeat steps 5 and 6. Apple logo should not show at all.
- Continue to hold Volume Down key for another 5 seconds. If the Plug into iTunes screen is displayed, repeat steps 5-7. Plug into iTunes screen should not show up.
- You’ll know that your phone is in DFU mode if the screen remains black. Your computer should then tell you that iTunes has detected an iPhone.
- Follow the on-screen steps in your computer to do a full recovery.
Problem 3: iPhone 6 lags when loading Apple logo screen
My iPhone is version 11.1.2(15B202) model mkqj2b/a serial number dnpqrnh8, it was working fine until two days ago when it started buffering, black screen with the little central circle spinning round. then I have to enter my passcode, this is happening regular. I have carried out a reset all settings. I have done several soft shutdowns by pressing both the home and power keys until the apple icon appears then I release the buttons, I have shut the phone down many times. I have removed several apps and stopped unnecessary background apps running. Please can you offer a solution to this very annoying buffering from happening? Thank you. — Les Marshall
Solution: Hi Les. The buffering Apple logo screen can be a sign that your iPhone has a slow performance issue. It can also be an indication that your device has a problem loading iOS operating system. Make sure that you perform a factory reset to return all software settings back to their defaults. With all software and apps in factory state, your phone is expected to perform well. It should also not lag when loading the Apple logo screen. If this happens, it means that there probably was a bug or software glitch that caused the device to encounter difficulty in loading iOS.
To factory reset your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Create a backup of your files via iTunes, iCloud, or both.
- Open Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
- If prompted, enter your passcode.
- Tap Erase iPhone.
If your phone continues to work slow, lag, or buffer when loading iOS, contact Apple for support. Like the folks above, your phone is possibly throttled down by Apple to extend battery life.
Problem 4: iPhone 6S screen flickering at random
I just bought an iPhone 6S with the new (other) condition. I had it for 12 days and the screen started to flicker. I powered it off, had it charged over night and the next morning the flickering stopped. So far, no more flickering problem. My question is should I be concern that the flickering will come back? The reason I asked is because I have a 30 days return window and if something is faulty and causing it to flicker, then I would like to return it before the 30 days is up. Please advise! Thanks! — Mui
Solution: Hi Mui. Some poorly coded apps can sometimes cause the screen to flicker or act weirdly. If the screen started to flicker coincidentally after you installed an app, it may be the cause of the problem. Try removing or offloading that app to see a difference.
In a lot of cases, flickering is a sign of a on-going hardware malfunction. If the screen continues to flicker on its own, even when you’re not opening any app, that can be a clear sign of a bad screen. However, if the screen only flickers randomly or when using an app, it may be caused by a bug. Consider doing a full restore and observe the phone for at least 24 hours. Make sure that you don’t install anything during the observation period. This should give you enough time to notice any difference. If the screen flickers even when there are no third party apps around, go ahead and have the device replaced.
To do a full restore in your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Create a backup of your files. You can do that in a number of ways but the fastest and most effective way is by using iTunes in your PC or Mac. If you don’t want to create a backup at all, you can simply erase everything on the phone by following the steps in this link.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer with the cable that came with your phone.
- We assume you remember your phone’s passcode so simply enter it when you’re prompted for it.
- Select your iPhone once iTunes asks you for the specific device.
- Once you’re in the Summary panel or screen, select the option that will restore your device (Restore).
- Confirm by clicking on Restore button.
- Wait for a few moments while iTunes restores your device to its factory settings. It may also take some time if iTunes will need to install an updated operating system version.
- After this factory reset, all software settings should be restored to their defaults.
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If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.
Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.