Planned Obsolescence, or Every New iOS Update Making iPhones Older than the Newest Model Slower

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MICHAELSD, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #1
    Unwrap the newest iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, and on the latest iOS version both will feel buttery smooth with zero indication of lag or a slowdown. It's a cycle every year: the newest iPhone will undoubtedly perform flawlessly on its respective iOS version that was released alongside it for at the least its first few months. Then, magically as if it was by design it'll begin to exhibit the slightest hiccups and holdups just doing menial tasks.

    Sure, Apple does add new features every year to iOS that use up more resources. It's not expected that an iPhone 7 that feels absolutely smooth in every aspect today will feel the same way in five years. However, having owned every single iPhone I am confident in stating that it's doubtful it will perform or feel the same in a year from now when iOS 11 is released.

    My iPhone 6s Plus like my iPhone 6 Plus before it slowly started to lag past the point of usability so much so that I had to do a factory reset. Even with a factory reset though, it still is not as buttery-smooth as it was on iOS 9 the year before. Frames are noticeably dropped even doing a UI task as basic as using Force Touch.

    It's absolutely expected that Apple's newest flagship phone is buttery-smooth and that the latest iOS version is optimized for the best experience on the newest phone. But the question is whether Apple purposefully neglects to optimize to retain that smoothness on older devices. All that is immediately apparent is that Apple creates the best experience for its new software versions around its newest devices, which is totally fine. If you want the best iOS 9 experience, buy an iPhone 6s. If you want to use the newest iOS 10 to its fullest potential, buy an iPhone 7. Just don't expect either to perform as well as out-of-the-box on newer software versions after a year, even with a factory reset. Apple's not the only one doing it, and updating to a new phone every year isn't a huge hassle provided they continue adding a myriad of desirable features annually.
     
  2. Booji macrumors 6502a

    Booji

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    #2
    As an OS becomes more rich and complex with every upgrade, it takes more resources to support. Its natural course of technology evolution.
     
  3. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #3
    The OP already has a similar thread on this, guess that was not enough.
     
  4. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #4
    The first thread was actually intended to figure out why my iPhone was slowing down past the point of usability, which I believe was some type of internal iOS glitch, and not a discussion on planned obsolescence.

    This is a follow-up thread intended to be a discussion on planned obsolence now that I've had a chance to do a factory reset on my 6s Plus.
     
  5. sven691103 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2016
    #5
    You will find this anywhere......even in the Windows world or any kind of technology.....
     
  6. Closingracer macrumors 68020

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    #6
    My old iPhone 6 plus which I retired a few weeks ago didn't feel much slower than when I got it in March 2015. Granted it was my 4th phone.
     
  7. eduschean macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2014
    #7
    You would think as generations go on, that the devices wouldn't slow down as much due to faster processors and more memory. I believe apple is helping the devices slow down prematurely.
     
  8. Rufuss Sewell macrumors 6502

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    #8
    It's obvious that older phones are purposefully slowed down. The evidence is in simple tasks like typing.

    When I got my iPhone 4S it was blazing fast. Typing felt exactly like when I got my 6S+. I've upgraded every year (skipping the 7 since I need a headphone jack) but kept my 4S as an iPod.

    Well, after a few years of upgrading iOS the 4S is like walking through 3 feet of mud. Click a letter... wait... the letter appears on the screen... click another letter... wait...

    It's a joke. My old Vic 20 from 1980 doesn't have a problem making letters appear on a screen after typing.

    If I could corner Tim Cook I would ask him that one question. Why is the processor that was lightning fast when new, now all of a sudden slowed to a crawl doing a task that is exactly the same as it was back then?

    Nothing has changed in the way iPhones type. And yet, the 4S can no longer handle it.

    It's obvious. The new OS is programmed to specifically slow down older devices to the point that they are unusable.
     
  9. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #9
    Because it's NOT the same task. The keyboard now supports 3rd parties, meaning the entire thing was rebuilt. Apple focuses on security, the keyboard is a vital part of that (if you've ever seen the password keyboard) and the keyboard code is entirely different and likely taps into some of the hardware security features. Your 4s doesn't have the newer (and faster) chips, no secure enclave, and simply doesn't have the hardware encryption scheme as newer phones.

    You think you're comparing Apples to Apples but you're not. Just because the UI looks similar doesn't mean it's not a whole different beast under the hood.
     
  10. Zaft macrumors 68040

    Zaft

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    #10
    I thought apple did it in purpose too, but its simply not true. A perfect example is my 6 Plus that actually got faster when IOS 9 came out compared to IOS8. Jitters were gone and just overall was smoother.

    I cant comment on IOS 10 as i dont have the 6 Plus anymore.
     
  11. foxconn Suspended

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    #11

    You have no idea how technology works
     
  12. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #12
    The iPhone has gotten several multitudes faster since the iPhone 4s, so it's a bit excusable. Perhaps Apple just shouldn't support new iOS versions on that device once it becomes unusable. At least they let 4s users upgrade to iOS 8.0 or wherever the cutoff was though.

    Although there is a point to be made that Apple should be able to keep the main interface (home screen, typing, Force Touch, etc.) snappy on a year-old iPhone.

    I'm going to continue upgrading annually anyway, but it's a bit annoying that my iPhone 6s Plus and 6 Plus only took 9 months to loose their smoothness. I'd like to at least go a year without interface lag, especially if I'm buying every new iPhone model regardless.
     
  13. jetsam macrumors 6502

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    Jul 28, 2015
    #13
    Yes. In the Windows world, the saying is "Microsoft takes away what Intel gives."
    As for this thread - it's "deja vu all over again."
     
  14. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #14
    I've been a frequent forum reader for smartphones for a long time. Threads like this were common on DroidForums.net back in the day as well. I see this effect less on iPhones than I did on my Android phones. My 6+ and 6s+ have had no lag even after years of ownership so ... I'd like to think this has gone away. My 6s+ is still as fast as the day I bought it. Just wish my iPhone had that Android developer mode so I could turn off screen animations :) (Yes, I have reduce motion on).
     
  15. eduschean macrumors newbie

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    #15
    As of right now anything 5s and newer (64 bit) will be ok for a couple more years until having 1 gig of ram isn't enough.
     
  16. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #16
    To be honest, I've found that iOS devices age pretty well. I couldn't justify getting an iPhone 7 this year even though I had originally planned to. my 6 is still running perfectly fine on iOS 10, it's third OS version. I know a number of people who are still using even older iOS devices and see no need to replace them. If Apple's strategy is planned obsolescence to encourage people to buy new hardware more frequently, frankly, I don't think they're doing a very good job.
     
  17. Rocko99, Dec 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016

    Rocko99 macrumors member

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    #17
    Of course this happens. Anyone saying it doesn't can't understand economics and the tech business. If older phones were as snappy as newer phones there is less of a need to upgrade. If you don't upgrade the OS the apps stops working.
     
  18. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #18
    Just because it happens it doesn't mean it's a conspiracy.
     
  19. Rocko99 macrumors member

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    Sep 19, 2016
    #19
    Your 6 is only a little over 2 years old. A $750 item should work as well as it did new for longer than 2 years.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 29, 2016 ---
    There is no conspiracy, it happens. It's part of the tech earning structure, as well as many other industries. It's not hidden.
     
  20. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

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    #20
    I agree, and it does, so I see no problem so far. There's no reason to think that it won't handle future updates to iOS 10, so that means it will last at least 3 years. If it can handle iOS 11 that will be 4 years.
     
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #21
    So do you think Apple deliberately codes to make performance worse? Or perhaps its that certain features rely on hardware (such as the hardware decoders used for video or the chips built specifically to deal with a certain type of encryption) that older devices simply don't have in them?
     
  22. bodonnell202 macrumors 6502a

    bodonnell202

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    #22
    Here we go again - everyone break out the tinfoil hats! ;)

    My iPhone 6s and iPad Mini 4 run iOS 10 just great. In fact, I feel like both devices are smoother and faster on iOS 10 than they ever were on iOS 9.

    In the case of the OP I wonder if it's a specific app or task that is causing all your problems? Or maybe the OP is just a troll trying to poke an old hornet's nest since new versions of iOS significantly slowing down older devices definitely was a problem in the past (most recent example being the iPhone 4s which slowed down significantly with iOS 8 forward - however turning off predictive text made it usable again).
     
  23. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 7, 2013
    #23
    No, but I think Apple fails to optimize new OS' for older devices. They should focus on making the experience the same on all devices using the new OS. Navigating the home screen should not become laggy. I get certain things running slower, but simple swiping between pages on the home screen should be smooth.
     
  24. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #24
    It's just as easily part of reality of how hardware and software progresses.
     
  25. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #25
    Not a troll. :) On the iPhone 6s I've avoided adding email accounts or doing activities after the reset that may have contributed to the initial slowdown. Still a bit lacking in UI smoothness. It's funny because for months prior I've been saying to myself that it feels the same as it did when it was new. Far from unusable, just lacking the new iPhone zippiness.
     

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