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Yes, Apple slows down its iPhones… But “it’s for their own good”

December 2017

A fault confessed is half redressed, Granny always said. And mkay, when you mix Apple + planned obsolescence + 1 billion customers + huge marketing stakes, there’s no guarantee of complete honesty.

Back Market is breaking down the case of the slow motion iPhone for you.

Slowing Down iPhones To Avoid Sudden Shutdown

Apple would rather say they’re “smoothing out performance” than slowing down devices. That’s right, we don’t say old lady, we say senior citizen. We  don’t say “it’s expensive,” we say, “it’s artisanal.” We don’t say “it’s far away,” we say “4 miles in my new stilettos? My calves are going to look amazing.”

Apple’s argument: the new iOS updates (those things that paralyze your iPhone for three episodes of The Walking Dead and use up a terabyte of memory) eat up more energy all the time and are customized for the latest iPhone model. The earlier iPhones, then, are left pedaling through guacamole (or hummus, depending on the country), because their batteries are insufficient for advanced features.

In short, it’s a bit like asking an economy car to tow a semi load at 60 mph. Yeah, it’s probably going to splutter.

So yes, Apple says it prefers to have the oldest iPhones operating less quickly or less effectively, rather than not working at all.

The Obvious Consequences

The iPhone’s computing speed slowed from 15… to 100%.

While Apple’s stated objective is to increase the lifecycle of our companion devices, the reality is that, after having spent a few weeks or months with the iPhone equivalent of a vinyl record, either you’re going to toss it out the window or you’ll give in to the siren song of Apple’s marketing, because – ah, sweet mystery of life – your smartphone’s crash happens to coincide with the release of a new model


Customers = Willing Victims

We don’t like hearing that. But it’s a vicious circle: Apple, a genius of R&D and communications, blows us away at every Keynote. And we ask for more. And we’re never satisfied. And we’re so excited. How soon is Christmas anyway? And when will that guy with the ugly black turtleneck be back?

So Apple constantly releases  iOS updates, necessitating a certain “smoothing down”; there are bugs, devices crash, and so to calm things down, they try to restrain the beast.

Did Someone Say “Planned Obsolescence”?

Of course, the underlying theme here is planned obsolescence. Without trying to go full crypto-hippie, we are bit by bit waking up from our consumerist obsession. And we begin to realize that what’s important probably lies elsewhere.


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