Think Apple Deliberately Slows Down Old iPhones Over Time? Think Again, Suggests Benchmark Analysis


There's a common belief among Apple users that with every new software update, old iPhones tend to perform slower. People who subscribe to this belief claim somehow, Apple deliberately adjusts a software's code so that the device it's installed in becomes buggy and slow.

Suppose this is true, what's the reasoning? Why would Apple intentionally make old devices perform worse than new ones? Well, some think that this is a way for Apple to convince old users to upgrade to the newest model. By rendering old devices kind of obsolete, users will be more likely to buy the latest device.

Apple And Planned Obsolescence

This isn't a new concept. There's a phenomenon in consumer electronics called "planned obsolescence," in which products are intentionally handicapped after a certain period for various reasons.

However, Futuremark argues Apple isn't doing this.

Apple Isn't Slowing Down Old iPhones, Silly

Futuremark, the company behind popular benchmark test 3DMark and others, has conducted thousands of tests over the years that might debunk this conspiracy once and for all.

3DMark is a free download for iPhone users, and each time power users or reviewers perform a test on their device, Futuremark stores the results for future comparisons, one of which was just released.

In the latest analysis, which aggregates a couple of years' worth of scores for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7, Apple's older phones don't seem to degrade in any significant degree over time. Some models do show weaker performance on newer iOS versions, but there's generally no dramatic drop in power.

But that being said, people might still be experiencing slowdowns, for a number of reasons. For starters, there might be some apps that are more optimized to run on newer hardware. In addition, benchmark tests can only capture so much data — it can't determine, for instance, if users experience input lag, delays, or anything that adds to the overall feeling of sluggishness.

So, take it from Futuremark itself: Apple isn't deliberately slowing down old models just to force customers to upgrade to the newest model, or it doesn't seem to be, anyway. But as TechCrunch puts it, upgrading isn't really a problem for Apple fans.

Has your old iPhone gotten slower with each new software update? Do you think Apple is going the planned obsolescence route? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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