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7 On Your Side: Why your iPhone gets slower

An iPhone is seen in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. The San Bernardino County-owned iPhone at the center of an unfolding high-profile legal battle between Apple Inc. and the U.S. government lacked a device management feature bought by the county that, if installed, would have allowed investigators easy and immediate access. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — A new study released by testing group Geekbench confirms in part what 7 On Your Side viewers contacting our tipline suspected for years: their iPhones get slower with age.

“What we found is that starting with a software update earlier this year, Apple started limiting the performance of the phones. What Apple has done. They’ve said that when your battery is no longer able to provide the power the processor needs to operate at peak performance, it scales that back,” said John Poole of Primate Labs, owner of Geekbench.

I don’t know how to monitor it, but I know when my battery runs out — typically in winter with cold weather — I would just replace it with the new iPhone. That actually makes sense. That's an interesting study,” said iPhone owner Xun Lu outside the Apple Georgetown store.

“That's a little alarming. I've never had a problem with them in the past. I've only kept them two or three years,” answered iPhone owner Daniel Weiss.

Cell phones, including the iPhone, use a Lithium-Ion battery. Batteries have lifespans measured in milliamps, or “mAh.” As time passes, Apple’s new operating system throttles down the processor of iPhone 6 and 7 models.

“The nice thing about this fix is that it makes sure your battery life stays long. It makes sure that your phone doesn't abruptly shut down. The downside is, of course, your phone gets slower,” explained Poole.

Battery lifespan checkers can be found in the iOS App Store, some for a price. Battery replacements can often be purchased for around $80. There are online videos explaining how to replace the battery yourself with tools to pry open the case and a hair dryer to loosen the glue connecting the battery to the case. Apple says replacing your own battery voids the phone’s warranty.

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