Everyone loves a conspiracy theory - especially if said theory lets us all believe that we’re unwilling victims being forced to hand over all our hard-earned money twice a year.
But unfortunately for everyone convinced that Apple is deliberately slowing down your iPhone to make you buy the newest model, it just isn’t true.
In spite of the seeming correlation between slowness and Apple’s assembly line gearing up for the release of the next generation, a new study has definitively shown there is absolutely no truth in the claims.
The huge debunking comes courtesy of Futuremark, the company behind 3DMark - an app that tests the performance of smartphones and is designed to emulate how a real game would operate on your device.
Running a demanding series of tests, testing both GPU and CPU, the results (of which there are hundreds of thousands according to the testers) decisively show that phones don’t just drop off a cliff as they reach a certain sell by date.
Looking at data for the iPhone 5s - the effect should be most obvious on devices that have been around longest, right? Well as you can see from the chart below, there is seemingly, no effect.
The data, shown in a variety of charts (you can see all of them right here) only has small fluctuations in performance over a long period of time.
In fact, these variations are so slight, according to FutureMark, that they would not be perceptible to a regular everyday user.
If that wasn’t enough FutureMark go further than defending Apple and actually say that we should all be grateful for their extensive support for older models.
“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,” said a spokesperson.
So then - why do we perceive this to be the case?
It seems what is far more likely is that any software updates use more space, and require more processing and power, so it drains your phone more quickly.
Not only that, but every time you update non-Apple apps, they are likely to take up more and more space. And if you don’t update them, they just start to produce more glitches as they are out of sync with your software.
Plus, if we’re all honest with ourselves, we know what the allure of a newer model being available is probably skewing how we perceive our current phone, and it is just a convenient excuse to upgrade.
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Jan Dawson, founder of Jackdaw Research, told Wired, that in fact, Apple’s resale value is so high precisely because they are able to be handed down again and again, and not give up in the process.
So you’ll have to think of another reason to justify buying the iPhone X then.
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