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Study: Apple Slows Down Old iPhones On Purpose

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by | Filed Under: iOS, Smartphones

Is Apple purposely slowing down your old iPhone right before it comes out with new models? A new study by a researcher at Harvard says, it sure looks like it.

The study is based on the behavior of Internet users. The researches checked into how many people were searching iPhone slow at any particular time. According to their results, it turns out there’s a huge jump right before the time a new iPhone is scheduled to come out.

The timeline of these results is pretty startling. Starting with 2008, there’s a huge spike in the searches for iPhone slow right around the time that a new model is scheduled to be released.

The researcher found no such link between new releases of Samsung Galaxy phones. Part of the reason is probably that new operating systems usually come out around the time new phones are released and that a new operating system on an old phone can run pretty slow.

The question is whether this is planned obsolescence or just a by-product of fast evolving technology.  One of the main rules of science is that coincidence does not necessarily equal causation. Does Apple purposely create new operating systems that cause bugs and slowdowns with the old phones or is that just the way technology evolves? Or are apps and services evolving so rapidly that they get ahead of the phones and slow them down?

And it’s possible that the phones aren’t really getting slower at all, that people just see how quickly newer models work and they start to want a new one. Since iPhone customers are known to be particularly loyal, it’s possible that they want new models more than Android users and start to imagine symptoms with their phones in order to justify the purchase of a new one.

~ Cynthia

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One Response to “Study: Apple Slows Down Old iPhones On Purpose”

  1. kathy says:

    Based on my experience, Verizon has done this with my phones.

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