Most Apple aficionados around the globe rejoice when a new iPhone hits the market. But for others, the launch of a new iPhone inspires nothing but frustration. Why? For some of them, it signifies the start of the dreaded “iPhone slowdown.”
Rumors have long circled within the Apple community about whether the company slows down its old device in a plot to get consumers to purchase the latest release. Here’s the lowdown on the infamous “study” that some use to “prove” their point, and why new iPhones actually start to look better every day—even if it’s not for the reason you think.
The “study” that proved nothing
You might have heard about an interesting “study” circulating through the web, which is the main piece of evidence cited among those who argue that Apple is slowing down old devices to increase the sales of its new releases. However, once you actually read the study (which we know you will), you’ll find that it’s nothing more than a grad student’s thoughts as he ventures into the world of Google Trends.
The so-called “study” was based largely on his observation that there were 50% more searches for “iPhone slow” after the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone X. No formal studies have ever proven that Apple is trying to pull one over on us.
What’s really going on?
New iPhone is released. Stellar marketing gives you iPhone envy. You upgrade to the new OS. Your iPhone slows down for a variety of reasons. Suddenly, everything becomes clear: your old phone is just way too slow. You must have the new one.
Does this sound familiar? It very well might, because that cycle is nothing more than human nature. And marketers don’t seem to mind.
Futuremark conducted a benchmarking test on iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 to see if their performance really went down after a new phone was released. The results? The processing chips from iPhone 5S performed just as well running the latest iOS as it did when running iOS 9. The company found that Apple’s updates actually helped maintain performance, regardless of its iOS version.
Software upgrades are common in the tech world. And no matter what tech devotees might say, providing upgrades is a smart business move. If Apple didn’t release new updates to improve existing systems, it could lose many customers, who spent a good amount of money and expect their investment to keep up with them.
Although these updates provide more features and capabilities, they also can tend to slow your device for a variety of reasons—none of which have actually pointed to malicious intentions. The fact is that new operating systems often have greater processing needs, and thus may require more resources to run your apps. And apps don’t help the matter, especially when their versions are not meant for your specific update.
Slowdowns aren’t just for Apple
Are device slowdowns simply the plight of Apple fangirls and fanboys everywhere? It turns out that unlike Apple, which releases OS updates alongside its latest iPhones, Google staggers its updates. Thus, when slowdowns do occur, users don’t chalk it up to a plot by Android’s makers.
If you’re lamenting the slowdown of your device in the aftermath of a new OS update, try using these tips to breathe some new life into your gadgets (Apple or otherwise).
Purge your device
Pressing the “update” button is always tempting, but it’s not necessarily wise. Instead, clean out your device, back it all up and delete everything: apps, photos, whatever you have stored. Update your OS, then restore your system with your backup. This will ensure a more seamless migration.
Clean it out
Like any system, your tech devices can get bogged down by old data and files that collect over time. Back up your device and run a cleanup program, or do a complete reset to factory settings. You can then download only what you actually need or plan to use to speed up your system.
Check your storage
The more you store, the slower your device will run. It’s simply a rule of life. Just because your device can handle large amounts doesn’t mean it should. Check your storage to see where you can cut back to increase available space and keep it running faster.
If all else fails and your device is still running too slow to be productive, consider upgrading.
Slowdowns happen. But by keeping on top of it and regularly performing light maintenance on your devices, you can minimize the effects of installing a new OS—despite what the rumors might tell you.