Apple not engaging in ‘planned obsolescence’


A benchmarking software company has found that contrary to popular belief, technology company Apple does not conspire to slow down older iPhone model performances whenever a new model is released.

A number of iPhone users have complained that their devices seem to work slower whenever a newer version is released, accusing the company of practicing “planned obsolescence” in order to encourage owners with older devices to upgrade.

Futuremark decided to put this test by comparing the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7 to see if performance was affected with the release of a new model.

The company’s tests found that processing chips inside the devices, going back as 2013’s iPhone 5s, perform just as well running Apple’s latest operating system iOS 11 as they did running the 2015-released iOS 9.

The iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 showed similar results.

Futuremark has suggested two factors that could have an effect on a user’s experience.

The company suggested that an older iPhone device performance may be affected by new versions of the operating system and ensuing app updates that are released in tandem with a new model.

This may cause issues as they contain features designed to work fluidly with the updated hardware inside newer models. Older phones may slow down then as the apps and updates are not optimised to work with them but with newer models.

A second suggestion Futuremark put forward as a reason for an older iPhone slowing down is the “pyschological effect”.

Futuremark suggested that “knowing there is a new and improved model available” can make an older model appear inferior.

So, there you have it.  Apple is not actively engaged in making older models obsolete to pressure users into upgrading.

While older devices in general may get slower over time, more recent models, such as the iPhone 6, should continue to deliver the performance you expect.