The New York Times on Saturday decided to analyse one particular Apple conspiracy — “every time a new iPhone comes out, my existing iPhone seems to slow down.”
A simple search on Google Trends, which was charted for us by Statista, shows that people indeed search for “iPhone slow” quite often — particularly around the time of a new iPhone launch. So, it’s definitely a concern amongst iPhone users.
However, there is no evidence to support the idea that Apple is actually slowing your phone. The Times argues it may be an issue of perception — hearing about your phone getting slower may make you pay more attention to its speed. Another theory says people are more concerned about the release of new mobile operating systems, which might be slower on older hardware. But the data, unfortunately, offers no conclusions — only correlations.
There’s certainly an economic argument for Apple to slow down your phone right as a new model is coming. It would push you to buy a new model. However, it would be horrible for Apple’s brand. Who wants to buy a phone knowing it’s going to be crippled?