Some people are convinced.
No sooner has Apple unveiled its new iPhone owners of older models complain that their iPhone suddenly started to slow down or the battery life wasn’t quite what it was just weeks before.
There is a theory about so called “planned obsolescence” that Apple secretly pushes out a software update that hampers the performance of older devices so that people are forced to upgrade to the latest model.
Conspiracy theorists jumped on an unofficial Harvard Study which appeared to add weight to the theory.
The Harvard study found that search terms for ‘iPhone slowed down’ or ‘iPhone slow’ skyrocket in the days after Apple release a new version of iOS.
There has even been an online petition setup pleading with Apple to not push iOS upgrades which sabotage older iPhones. The petition has been signed by hundreds of thousands of people.
“Apple has been sabotaging devices for years with software ‘upgrades’ that slow every iPhone and iPad except the very latest model, the petition claims.
“It’s a strategy called planned obsolescence, and it’s one of the ways that Apple and other gadget makers are getting so filthy rich while the planet and everyone else pays.”
Of course there is no evidence to suggest that Apple actually does slow down old iPhones and the ‘planned obsolescence’ theory seems nothing more than internet hearsay.
And now a new study has further debunked the myth that Apple deliberately slows down old iPhone.
The study, carried out by benchmarking company Futuremark found no evidence that Apple slows down old iPhone models in order to coax you into buying a new model.
The study actually found the opposite to be true, with new iOS updates helping to maintain the performance of older models.
The study collected over 100,000 benchmark results from seven different iPhone models over an 18 month period, across three different versions of iOS: iOS 9, iOS 10 and iOS 11.
According to the results the iPhone 5S suffered no drop in either GPU or CPU performance, with other models performing similarly over the same period.
Where some iPhones did experience a slight drop in performance, it wouldn’t be enough to be noticed in everyday use, the study said.
“Our benchmarking data shows that, rather than intentionally degrading the performance of older models, Apple actually does a good job of supporting its older devices with regular updates that maintain a consistent level of performance across iOS versions”.
Of course the study isn’t to say that some iPhone users experience problems with their devices after installing the latest iOS update.
For example, users who have downloaded iOS 11 have complained about performance issues, battery drain and even random shutdowns.
But this could be for a number of different reasons, such as bugs and software glitches in the early versions of an update and not part of some kind of Apple conspiracy.