There are reports that searches like “iPhone slow” or “iPhone slowed down” on Googlespiked before the release of the new model, which suggests a large number of iPhone users have started facing problems with their phones.
A petition created by an online consumer group last year accused Apple of issuing software updates to slow down performance of older models, thus forcing users to consider buying the new model. A Harvard University study on the subject has been cited by innumerable articles accusing iPhone of sabotaging older models.
There has been no proof that iPhone sabotages its older models to increase sale of new models. The Harvard study does not dwell on that issue at all. All it says is that the Google searches for “iPhone slow” spike around the time of release of a new model.
Far from suggesting that it’s Apple that slows down your iPhones, the study indicates it could be a psychological phenomenon. Consumers are subjected to a lot of media hype about the new iPhone models. Since there is nothing wrong with the older iPhones they use, the desire to buy the latest models manifests as the anxiety about the performance of the older model. They tend to notice the performance issues more just around the time of release of the new model.
The theory that Apple sabotages older iPhones is also fuelled by the idea that the software update, which has been released around the time of new models, must be slowing down older iPhones since it’s more advanced than the original software. There is no proof of that either.
So is it a myth that Apple slows down older models? Yes. Since there is no proof of it, psychology better explains the phenomenon why suddenly people start searching Google for “iPhone slow” when new models are coming.