Is Apple Deliberately Slowing Your Old iPhone To Force You To Upgrade?

Is Apple Deliberately Slowing Your Old iPhone To Force You To Upgrade?
JESHOOTS / Pixabay

Every time Apple launches a new iPhone, there is talk from some of their old iPhone slowing or the battery not working as efficiently as before. Many users blame Apple for it, saying that the company does it on purpose to encourage users to buy the new phones. However, putting an end to all this chatter, benchmarking company Futuremark released its analysis which concluded that all these claims are baseless and mere speculations.

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For the analysis, Futuremark used over 100,000 benchmark results, starting from 2016 and covering seven iPhone models. The data collected was used to develop performance comparison charts to find out whether the complaints from users about their old iPhone slowing could actually be correlated with real performance drops across iOS 9, iOS 10, and iOS 11.

The first iPhone used for the test was the iPhone 5s, the oldest device to run iOS 11. The benchmarking company carried out the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Graphics test to calculate the benchmark scores for the iPhone 5s. The test was used to measure both GPU and CPU performance. Based on the scores, Futuremark concluded that the iPhone 5s’ performance has remained constant from iOS 9 to iOS 11.

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The same tests were carried out on the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7. The findings showed marginal falls and rises in the GPU performance. For instance, GPU performance was up compared to the previous-generation versions of iOS for the iPhone 6 and 7. Futuremark found that CPU performance dropped slightly for some iPhone models. Attributing the performance to “minor iOS updates or other factors,” the company said that such a marginal difference in performance is unlikely to be noticed by users in everyday use.

Futuremark also came out with possible explanations for what might have triggered users to complain about their old iPhone slowing. According to the benchmarking company, apps could be a major reason for the performance drop in the iPhone, as old apps may not be optimized to run on the newer iOS version. Similarly, apps optimized to run on new devices might witness issues on older iPhone. Developers are mainly to be blamed for such issues and not Apple.

The growing complexity of apps is also a possible reason some users find their old iPhone slowing. The Facebook app is a perfect example of this. Over the years, the app has added more and more features and has grown more processor-intensive. Along with slowing the phone’s performance, the growing complexity of the apps also drains the battery, notes The Guardian.

Futuremark, however, admitted that one area in which iOS may be held responsible for slowing the iPhone is the addition of new features. New iOS versions always come with some new features, which may consume more processing power, thus resulting in some users seeing their old iPhone slowing.

Futuremark, in fact says that Apple is doing a good job in maintaining the performance of the older iPhones across the iOS versions by providing them with regular updates.

Overall, based on its performance comparison, Futuremark claims, “There are no signs of a conspiracy.”

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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