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Does Apple Deliberately Slow Down Its Old iPhones?

by | 8th, August 2014

That’s the question that’s asked over in the New York Times, whether Apple deliberately slows down its old iPhones so that people will go out to buy a new model. And the answer is, well, you might think so, but probably not. For it’s true that there’s evidence that everyone complains about how slow their old phones are when a new one comes out: but that’s a function of technology, not active malevolence:

A new study is backing up long held suspicions that Apple slows down older models of its iPhones to encourage users to buy a new release.

The U.S. study analysed worldwide searches for ‘iPhone slow’ and found that the search term spiked significantly around the time of new iPhone launch.

It then compared those results with similar searches for the term ‘Samsung Galaxy slow’, and discovered the term was unaffected by new releases from Samsung.

That’s how the Mail reports it but that’s not quite what they found. Yes, complaints about “iPhone slow” do rise in Google Trends around and about the time that a new iPhone is released. And there is no such correlation for the same phrase to do with Samsung phones. So, is Apple deliberately making old phones slower when releasing new one?

No, the answer being that Apple usually releases new software at the same time as new phones. And that new iOS tends to be loaded onto those old phones. And just like anyone who used to use Microsoft Windows will know, loading a new version of the OS onto old hardware is likely to make the machine run slower. For the new software is optimised to work on the new hardware, with a faster processor, more memory and so on. It just takes more grunt to make the cogs turn and the older machines have less of said grunt: thus they appear to run more slowly.

The secret to this not happening is of course not to add the new software to the old iPhone.



Posted: 8th, August 2014 | In: Money Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink