An Harvard University PhD student suspects that Apple might deliberately slow down older iPhones before a new iPhone is released. The student compared search for ‘iphone slow’ and ‘samsung galaxy slow’ using Google Trends. The student found that around the release of a new iPhone a lot of iPhone users start to search for ‘iphone slow’.
For Samsung Galaxy users she saw the term ‘samsung galaxy slow’ gradually be searched more often, with apparently no correlation between new Android or Galaxy S releases.
The amount of ‘iphone slow’ searches increased significantly around new iPhone releases while going back to regular levels after the release of the then latest iPhone.
Although the graphs are clear, they don’t actually proof anything. Users might actually feel their iPhone is slow, knowing a newer faster model is coming up, or even fooling themselves into feeling it’s slow to convince themselves they need a new phone. Also new iPhones usually come with new iOS releases, which contain new features that might give the user the impression their phone is slower.