TECH

iPhones 'Slow Down' Around Time Of New Releases Suggests Harvard Study

29/07/2014 13:07 BST | Updated 29/07/2014 13:59 BST

A Harvard University study appears to add weight to what many have always suspected - iPhones slow down whenever a new model is released.

PhD economics student, Laura Trucco, collated worldwide data for searches for the phrases "iPhone slow" and "Samsung Galaxy slow".

She found that whenever a new iPhone was released searches for "iPhone slow" spiked but the same could not be said for its Samsung counterpart.

iphone

Conspiracy?

Writing for the New York Times, Sendhil Mullainathan, a professor of economics at Harvard, said: "Wouldn't many business owners love to make their old product less useful whenever they released a newer one?

"When you sell the device and control the operating system, that’s an option."

Whereas Apple makes both its handsets and the operating system they run on, Samsung's OS is made by Google.

Mullainathan added: "Phones feel slower over time as they hold more software and as our expectations of speed increase.

"But the spikes show that the feeling doesn’t grow gradually; it comes on suddenly in the days after a new phone is released."

Many conspiracy-minded customers have long assumed Apple could somehow manipulate its products to encourage people to upgrade to newer and more expensive models.

There are however, other explanations for the spikes. Mullainathan stressed that this data alone does not prove a link.

It could simply be because newer versions of iOS are designed with newer models in mind and therefore may not work as efficiently on older iPhones.

Also, it could simply be the search terms used in the study - searching for just "galaxy slow" produces visibly different results.