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Apple must warn you of performance issues before iPhone software updates

Apple must provide a clear warning if a software update could impact the performance of your iPhone under new rules. 

The technology giant has pledged to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that it will notify iPhone users if a planned software update is expected to change their phone's performance before the update is downloaded. It's also promised to provide information about how users can maximise the health of a phone's battery.

In 2017, Apple admitted software updates had slowed down some handsets with ageing batteries, and the CMA raised concerns that it had not given suitable warnings to consumers. The watchdog said this could lead to people unnecessarily replacing or repairing their handsets, when they could have replaced the battery instead.

In response, Apple launched a cut-price battery replacement scheme, but this has now ended.

For full info on cutting the cost of an iPhone, see our Cheap iPhones guide.

Slow iPhone? How to check if your battery needs replacing

Since Apple ended its cut-price replacement scheme, it now charges £45 or £65 for a new phone battery, depending on the model you have.

While this is steep, if your phone is frustratingly slow, it could still be cheaper than the cost of replacing it. If you have an iPhone 6 or a newer model and you're running iOS 11.3 or later, your phone will have a feature letting you know whether the condition of your battery is affecting your phone's performance.

To check, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. This will tell you whether your battery is performing normally:

  • If your battery is working as it should, you'll see the following message: "Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance", ie, you don't need to do anything.

  • If your battery is not fully functioning, you'll see this: "Your battery's health is significantly degraded. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity."
  • If your battery health is unknown or the battery can't be verified, you'll see a message letting you know your battery information isn't available. This could be because your battery isn't installed properly, or has an unknown part. In this case, you'll need to have the battery checked by Apple directly.

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