the slow iphone

The con­spir­acy the­o­rists are con­vinced: Ap­ple is de­lib­er­ately slow­ing down your de­vices!

Mac Format - - APPLE OPINION -

Ev­ery time you hear a bell ring, it means an an­gel’s just got their wings. And ev­ery time you hear me in­vent new and fright­en­ing swear words, it means some­body’s mis­quoted Hunter S Thomp­son. A few lines he wrote about the TV busi­ness – “a cruel and shal­low money trench, a long plas­tic hall­way where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs” – have been wrongly ap­plied to the mu­sic busi­ness and an ex­tra bit (“There’s also a neg­a­tive side”) added.

The fake quote has long since eclipsed the orig­i­nal, and it’s a great ex­am­ple of peo­ple be­liev­ing what feels right over what’s ac­tu­ally right. Just like the Ap­ple iPhone con­spir­acy.

If you haven’t en­coun­tered the con­spir­acy yet, it goes some­thing like this: ev­ery time Ap­ple makes a new iPhone or iPad, it de­lib­er­ately sab­o­tages ex­ist­ing de­vices so you’re forced to buy the new prod­uct. The sab­o­tage could be date-ac­ti­vated time bomb in­side iOS, or it might be de­liv­ered in the guise of a sneaky OS up­date.

Neil “Dr” Fox in­fa­mously said on BrassEye, “there’s no ev­i­dence for it, but it is sci­en­tific fact”, and this month the sci­en­tific fact of slow­ing iPhones hit the head­lines. The rea­son? A study by a US stu­dent who found that Google searches for “iPhone slow” spike when­ever a new iPhone is re­leased.

That was more than enough ev­i­dence for the clever com­menters at Mail On­line, who sug­gested that “soft­ware up­dates that can be filled with pro­cesses or bugs that just use up more mem­ory is prob­a­bly the sim­plest way” and that “you have to be pretty stupid or naive to think they don’t do this. I saw it with the iPhone 3 and stopped buy­ing them af­ter that.” Cov­er­age pointed out that you don’t see sim­i­lar Google spikes when Sam­sung brings out a new phone. That’s true, and it’s why ru­mours start that iPhones are get­ting slower.

Un­like Sam­sung, whose ap­proach to ex­ist­ing cus­tomers is es­sen­tially “Screw you guys!” when it launches new kit, Ap­ple at­tempts to up­date as many ex­ist­ing cus­tomers as it can. When iOS 8 ships, Ap­ple could keep ev­ery­one else on iOS 7 and hope they’ll buy new iPhones and iPads, but what it will do is of­fer iOS 8 on as many ex­ist­ing de­vices as it can. Un­for­tu­nately, a more ad­vanced op­er­at­ing sys­tem means some older de­vices have to work harder, and those de­vices feel slower as a re­sult.

Un­like other man­u­fac­tur­ers, Ap­ple isn’t a cruel and shal­low money trench whose de­vices die like dogs. How­ever, there is a neg­a­tive side. Free­lance writer Gary Mar­shall knows full well that con­spir­a­cies don't ex­ist. Or is he just say­ing that be­cause the lit­tle green men told him to?

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