Apple has won rights to a new US patent, Modifying operating parameters of a device based on aging information
. The concept
would bake aging detection circuitry into a device, set to react if parameters fall outside of a predefined scale, or using data collected from other users. As a device gets older, the circuitry could help optimize performance and extend battery life.
Although it's unknown if Apple actually intends to implement the technology, it could help deal with a common problem in smartphones. Often devices -- including iPhones -- will slow down, lose battery life, and/or die entirely after two or three years. Aging detection could help keep an iPhone functioning normally for longer.