by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s a conspiracy theory that’s been around for some time, and perhaps one that has held weight in years gone by. It’s been mooted that Apple have intentionally slowed down older versions of their flagship iPhone devices in order to better promote their latest ranges – and, of course, since the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X have been unveiled, this has led to the same conspiracy theorists making the same claim – but just how true is it? Does slowing down previous versions of a device necessarily encourage users to plump for newer iterations? Thankfully, an answer does finally seem to be peering out from beneath the surface.
Research carried out by a firm called Futuremark appears to have put paid to all of the rumor and concern that surrounds each new iPhone release. The research undertaken by the firm involved trialling the processors and graphics chips of models from the iPhone 5S up to the iPhone 7, with monthly checks and varying iterations of the devices’ iOS interface having come into play, too. Those who are concerned that their old iPhones simply aren’t up to scratch any more will be comforted to learn that there really doesn’t seem to be any hard evidence to suggest that your phone’s performance will wither to encourage you to purchase a newer model – though this may take some of the fun out of all of that wanton speculation.
Futuremark confidently advise that the processor performance for the 5S, for example, never faltered completely – only offering ‘minor variations’ in performance that would be considered normal otherwise. CPU performance on later models do show a slight dip – but not to the extent that users would notice a considerable difference. With graphics, too, standing up to the test, it seems that the phenomenon is purely imagined.
However, there’s a reason for this. Consider every new device and update to your phone that comes along – it’s going to make your older devices feel slower and less impressive. This is just as a result of the progress of time and innovation – and not, as many people will have you know, problems that have arisen as a result of Apple intentionally hobbling their devices. Therefore, it does seem that the conspiracy theorists can leave Apple well alone on this one.
What new conspiracy theory will crop up next? Will Apple be at fault yet again? Who knows – but don’t worry – your old iPhones are fine.