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Apple Doesn't Deliberately Slow Down Older Devices According To Benchmark Analysis ( 163

According to software company Futuremark, Apple doesn't intentionally slow down older iPhones when it releases new software updates as a way to encourage its customers to buy new devices. MacRumors reports: Starting in 2016, Futuremark collected over 100,000 benchmark results for seven different iPhone models across three versions of iOS, using that data to create performance comparison charts to determine whether there have been performance drops in iOS 9, iOS 10, and iOS 11. The first device tested was the iPhone 5s, as it's the oldest device capable of running iOS 11. iPhone 5s, released in 2013, was the first iPhone to get a 64-bit A7 chip, and iOS 11 is limited to 64-bit devices. Futuremark used the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Graphics test and calculated all benchmark scores from the iPhone 5s across a given month to make its comparison. The higher the bar, the better the performance, and based on the testing, GPU performance on the iPhone 5s has remained constant from iOS 9 to iOS 11 with just minor variations that Futuremark says "fall well within normal levels." iPhone 5s CPU performance over time was measured using the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Physics test, and again, results were largely consistent. CPU performance across those three devices has dropped slightly, something Futuremark attributes to "minor iOS updates or other factors."
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Apple Doesn't Deliberately Slow Down Older Devices According To Benchmark Analysis

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, 2017 @06:09AM (#55326653)


    Same difference at the end of the day.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How the fuck isn't this the case for nearly all open source software, as well?

      I recently tried to install the most recent release of Debian on an older PC I had sitting around. Although it did finally install, it was a miserable experience when it came to using it. It was excruciatingly slow, especially when trying to use Gnome 3. I also tried a beta release of Firefox 57, which is supposedly fast, but even it was terribly slow.

      I've used iOS on just-barely-supported devices, and the performance was nowhere

      • Yeah but they do it for free. We only complain about greedy capitalists around here.

      • Or...use XFCE, Mate, LXDE, IceWM, or Openbox instead of GNOME, KDE, or Unity...? If you're just now finding out how terrible GNOME 3 is for older hardware, don't blame Linux and OS community for that. It's been terrible since day one (quite a few years now). XFCE uses only around 300MB vs. GMOME 3/Unity 1GB at login and isn't as annoying to use. If you need menu search, use the Whisker Menu (right-click panel to add items).
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by MangoCats ( 2757129 )

      They sure as hell made the iPad One obsolete within 3 years of launch, entirely via non-optional software "upgrades."

      • Come on, the ipad 1 as obsolete the day it rolled out the door with no camera. It was obvious ipad 2 was the one to wait for.
        • Maybe, but someone paid $700 for one and gave it to us... it was a really nice device for a couple of years, and built like a tank, unbreakable even by 7 & 9 year old boys using it unsupervised. There's no (justifiable) reason why it had to "upgrade" its software into an unusable state - the software worked just fine before they revised it.

          We got later iPads, but they were physically fragile - kinda taking a break from the whole tablet scene with the kids now.

        • To hell with the camera, due to its memory limitations compared to the iPhone 4, there was already iOS software that simply wouldn't run on an iPad 1 at its launch.

      • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

        I'd love to hear the modders explanation of how your post is off-topic. this post is off-topic.And troll

        Fuck stupid fanboys.

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          The editor is Beauhd, a known Apple apologist and former part-time Apple Store employee. He's not even trying to hide his bias. You can bet that a shitload of off-topic mods come from him personally, he even bragged about it a while ago.

      • I have an iPad 1 that I rediscovered after moving earlier this year. I reset it and I was able to download the âoelast compatible versionâ of apps. It currently has Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Google Drive, Plex, Spotify, Pages and Numbers running well. I used Google Drive to read PDF.s. The built in apps work well except for Safari. Safari Is painful with 256Kb of RAM.

        My 6s came out with iOS 9 and runs iOS 11 well.

        But would you prefer the alternative? Android devices often donâ(TM)t get updated

      • by rthille ( 8526 )

        I'm still using my iPad2 (though I did get fed up with how slow it is for the web and other stuff and finally order a replacement last week). For Apple controlled tasks (iBooks, Mail, and such) it's not bad. For 3rd party stuff, especially the horrific Web 2.0 crap we have going these days, it's fucking terrible.

  • Sofa King Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday October 07, 2017 @06:15AM (#55326665) Homepage Journal

    Nobody claimed that they were inserting nops. The claim is that they load the phone up with stuff the old specs can't handle, and then actual application performance (not CPU benchmarks!) suffers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apple doesn't intentionally slow down older iPhones

      Fascinating. They came to this conclusion by using a mind-reading device on Apple executives and engineers?

      Every single OS release is slower, to the point of being unusable, on older hardware. And yet there are no apparent benefits to upgrading. For example, scrolling a simple text list is slower -- it's just text list items on a plain white background and that's slower. To add insult to injury, you can't downgrade back to the old OS. Therefore, you have to throw that phone away and buy a new one.

      All this c

      • Re:Sofa King Stupid (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, 2017 @08:53AM (#55326895)

        Every single OS release is slower, to the point of being unusable, on older hardware.

        No. iOS 11 runs fine on the iPhone 5S.

        But no, apple's app store requires developers to use a certain Xcode version, which requires them to them to use a certain macOS version, which requires them to own a certain expensive and recent MacBook.

        No. XCode 9 requires High Sierra, which will run on any MacBook released since 2010, and MBPs released in 2009.


        • Re:Sofa King Stupid (Score:4, Informative)

          by ddtmm ( 549094 ) on Saturday October 07, 2017 @10:21AM (#55327081)

          No. XCode 9 requires High Sierra, which will run on any MacBook released since 2010, and MBPs released in 2009.

          Wrong. Xcode 9 needs macOS Sierra 10.12.4 to run. The 2009 MacBook Pro can only run the latest version of OS X El Capitan 10.11.6.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TigerPlish ( 174064 )

        Every single OS release is slower, to the point of being unusable, on older hardware. And yet there are no apparent benefits to upgrading.

        Wow. If only saying it made it so.

        The last iphone I had that was allergic to updates was the 3GS. It really was slow with iOS5. a 4 I had did fairly well until I got a 5S. That 5S is still my one and only phone and runs 11 just fine. No UI glitching, nothing. If there is a performance hit it is imperceptible.

        My original ipad air is on 11, just fine. No stutters, no problems.

        As for why to upgrade? Security updates. Bugfixes.

        But please, don't let reality interfere with your fantasy world which seems

        • Re:Sofa King Stupid (Score:5, Informative)

          by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Saturday October 07, 2017 @10:10AM (#55327047) Homepage Journal

          My husband's 4S is almost entirely unusable because of the ungodly slow response times of the UI. As in it takes twenty seconds to bring up Apple's own internal map program when it used to take just a couple of seconds before on iOS 7.

          But hey, don't let the reality of those that actually time this shit with a stopwatch and eyeballs interfere with your synthetic benchmarks.

          • I currently own iPhone 3G,4,4s,5,5s,5c,6,SE,6s+,ipod4,ipod5,ipod6,ipad2,ipadair2 , have several of some of these models, and have updated iOS many times across all of them. In general each update slows down the device, eventually making it unusable. It's terrible on many models, probably the worst was updating the ipad2 to iOS 9 - basically it completely trashed it with no way to reasonably fix it. Op is correct in that it adds all kinds of unnecessary features and the iOS runs applications, many of whic
            • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

              Oops, you've annoyed the fuckwit apple fanboys, they seem to have a lot of mod points today.

              Hey there fuckwits. How many mod points do you have now?

            • My standard practice has been to wait on upgrading and read the reviews. If my phone model is reported to run well on the new OS, upgrade. My iPhone 4 ran slower after upgrading, and I skipped the last one available, but my 5S has been running just fine on upgraded iOS.

          • by antdude ( 79039 )

            Ditto. I am using a 4S. It's slow, but still usable for now. I disabled many features to save resources like battery, CPU, etc.

          • by tsa ( 15680 )

            Hm, my father's 4S, running he latest software available for it, is doing fine. No problems with sluggishness whatsoever. And he has a lot of junk on it, but not enough to completely fill its storage capacity. Maybe you should just remove some stuff from the phone?

            • by Khyber ( 864651 )

              The phone is a barebones install. There are zero apps installed and we'll never participate in the app ecosystem.

              • by tsa ( 15680 )

                That is strange... I'm sorry, I don't know what causes that. 20 seconds to start Apple Maps is indeed absurd.

              • I bet âoeyou donâ(TM)t own a tv either (tm)â.

                • by Khyber ( 864651 )

                  I do but its only use is as a 32" 1080p gaming monitor. I haven't watched TV in 20 years. It's far more entertaining watching the world burn while everyone else ignores it.

          • by rthille ( 8526 )

            My ipad2 got incredibly slow. I wiped it and 'setup as new', and it was much faster again. The app developers on iOS (apple's included) seem to just leak shit over time. Safari especially will just grow and grow databases about what pages you've visited and cookies and such. Over time they take up way too much memory and I/O and the whole experience is slow. Might be worth it to have your husband backup (encrypted local, so it has everything) and wipe his phone and try using it 'fresh' and see if starting

          • by TRRosen ( 720617 )

            you see when your phone is slow and nobody else's is... You probably pooched the upgrade or you have third party software gumming things up. dont bitch because you don't know how to maintain your device.

      • Remember this is the same company that allowed and profited off fake antivirus apps sold in the iPhone app store for an entire decade.
    • I always found it interesting how 2 out of 3 times I updated my OS was for one reason...the Podcast App suddenly decided to either not work properly or was drawing a LOT more battery power than it previously had. Others noticed the same issue and how it miraculously was fixed after updating to the latest OS.

  • by Targon ( 17348 ) on Saturday October 07, 2017 @06:17AM (#55326671)

    It makes sense that as features are added, it will require more CPU and/or GPU to handle it. The only exceptions are when the features are not active, which CAN be the case for some things, but not for all. The real question should be why you don't see more of a performance decrease on older devices, unless there just isn't much that has been added to the newer versions.

    As I said, there CAN be exceptions, but the more things that are actually active, the more CPU/GPU you SHOULD expect will be needed to handle those things.

  • by Gabest ( 852807 ) on Saturday October 07, 2017 @07:10AM (#55326743)
    Actually, I am still waiting for the installer to load.
    • You joke about this, but take a shitty PC running Windows Vista or even 7 and install Windows 10. It'll be like a whole new computer. Microsoft is busy trying to fit their 10 pounds of shit into 5 pound bags and make it work. To phrase that differently, cram Windows 10 into super low end mobile hardware.

      Hell I'll even admit that Edge is a fantastic browser, I just don't like *USING* it. It has a usability problem not a technological problem. I'd argue on a tech level it's even better than Chrome and Firef
    • Funny enough the slowest thing you can run on your computer is Windows Vista. Each subsequent release of Windows has required fewer resources loaded into RAM and been more intelligent and back-grounding the OS when the computer is in use. Providing there aren't hardware compatibility issues you should see a speed improvement for every successive Microsoft OS release in the past 10 years.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Saturday October 07, 2017 @08:50AM (#55326893)
    Why would Apple, actively or passively, want to slow down Apple devices?
    • by mhkohne ( 3854 )

      Because the overall speed of using the device declines as the device ages?

      I honestly doubt that Apple would deliberately slow down an older device. On the other hand, there's no real reason to worry about performance of older devices anymore - Apple already has your money. And the people who really like the Apple ecosystem aren't going to ditch it for an Android - they'll buy a new Apple device instead.

      So while I don't buy into any conspiracy, I DO think that Apple engineering doesn't give a fuck about anyt

      • Apple engineering doesn't give a fuck about anything but the latest devices.

        the iphone 6 still works great on ios11.

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      What, you can't work that out?

  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Saturday October 07, 2017 @09:21AM (#55326943)

    No amount of revisionism and misdirection by these people can disprove it.

    If it's because of more swapping because of increased memory requirements, unoptimized video drivers, or whatever, it doesn't matter.

  • My advice (Score:2, Insightful)

    from a usability standpoint is to avoid any IOS upgrade after the second year. I have seen it with three devices that the usability severely suffered with the third upgrade to a point that you did not want to use that device anymore. Intentional, I dont know but apparently it happened with all three devices with the third os upgrade they got. I came to the conclusion not to buy IOs devices anymore. The problem is the situation is not better on the Android side. The device manufacturers leave you hanging ent

    • by nasch ( 598556 )

      At least with android if you want to nerd out you can install whatever version of it you want. Not a suitable solution for the huge majority of users but it's out there.

    • Whether the iPhone runs slower, in my experience, depends on individual iPhone model and OS too much to make sweeping generalizations. My advice is to Google articles on running iOS X on iPhone Y, and then decide if you want to upgrade.

  • what would be fair to both the corporations that sell smartphones and the customers who buy them is, instead of trying to jam an updated system in a phone that will degrade performance why not just build a stripped down operating system that continues to let the phone function as a phone and camera get rid of everything else, just phone and camera, or just phone and forget the camera, at least it will still be a usable phone, that will work until the customer can afford to buy a new phone, for many people t
  • At one point, it was discovered that gas stations were hacking the pumps so that the test amounts would always come out correct to fool the inspectors e.g. 1 gallon, 5 gallons, 10 gallons but all other amounts would be short. So who's the say that the OS isn't written such that benchmarks work great but other stuff doesn't.

  • People install all sorts of crap on their devices and then report that it's slowing down over time. A factory reset will solve that problem.
  • It's entropy (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Saturday October 07, 2017 @05:15PM (#55328557)

    The entropy of any computer system will tend to increase with system and application updates - databases will grow, files will fragment and access to them will slow.

    It seems like this happens to Windows, MacOS and Android. With WIndows or MacOS you can fix it by reformatting and reinstalling or imaging onto a new drive. With Android I usually do a firmware reset.

    Probably the same thing is happening to iOS too. I.e. Apple might not be deliberately slowing things down but a phone with a bunch of applications and firmware updates applied to it is always going to be more sluggish than one with has a fresh factory install.

    Mind you I bet the fresh factory install of any OS had a lot more scrutiny than a security update for performance - each phone with a bunch of updates and apps is basically a unique leaf in the tree of all possible states the system can get into whereas the factory install is the single root of the tree.

    Going to alphas to betas to release candidates to releases involved a lot of hurdles the software has to clear. I.e. when you buy the device it's identical to all the other ones with the same hardware and factory firmware. After a couple of years it's almost a unique individual with a unique set of performance and stability problems.

    • With Windows there's traditionally been a handful of things you could do to improve it. I don't know how many of them carry forward from Win7 (where I am now) to Win10 but there's registry fragmentation, page file fragmentation, MFT fragmentation... hmm, there's a theme going here. And then all kinds of temp and backup files which for some reason seem to cause slowdown. Cleaning up those things periodically seems to keep Windows 7 running just fine.

    • The entropy of any computer system will tend to increase with system and application updates - databases will grow, files will fragment and access to them will slow.

      If they're shit. Perhaps its time to stop stuffing in all kinds of stupid crap people never asked for or wanted?

      The search feature of WindowsXP was way, way faster than the "improved" feature in Win7, despite the fact that I had the index turned off in XP and in Win7 the index is mandatory or search won't work at all. I just gave up and now (as usual) use a 3rd-party utility to search for files on my system, despite it not supporting any kind of index system, either. I'm not stupid enough to believe that

      • Maybe I should have said 'The entropy of any sufficiently complex computer system will tend to increase with time'.

        So embedded systems don't suffer from this effect - in fact most of embedded systems lore - write in C not C++, do all memory allocations at startup and not at run time, minimize or remove file system writes are all aimed at avoiding entropy increase.

        So those systems don't get slower with time.

        My router and NASs run Linux and they're not embedded systems, but they're also not subject to the kin

        • I understand your point, but in my experience it's quite rare for any product I've used to get slower through regular use, no matter how much I use it or "stuff" I add to it. Performance usually tanks only after some kind of patch or upgrade. It's very obvious that progressive performance issues in consumer products are due to stupid architectural changes implemented largely for political/egotistical reasons, and forced patches are only making the problem worse.

          Seriously, almost all the cataloging, indexi

    • The entropy of any computer system will tend to increase with system and application updates - databases will grow, files will fragment and access to them will slow.

      (Emphasis added).

      All iOS devices use solid-state storage. As SSDs have built-in wear levelling, at the physical layer everything larger than a 4k file is always fragmented. As there is no seek time, reads from any given sector take exactly the same amount of time, regardless of what sector was read last.

      There can be a tiny increase in read time on an SSD if a file is fragmented at the filesystem level, as a sector range can potentially be processed more efficiently than a sector list, however this process

      • Well my Galaxy S5 phone uses solid state storage and that needs to be reset every 12 months or so otherwise it's unusably slow.

        I switched the HD for an SSD in my 2012 Macbook Pro and it's fast now but I'm sure that will slow down after a year or so.

        So clearly there are more things that fragmentation contributing to entropy. And it clearly affects Linux and BSD based systems, not just Windows.

        • I'm not saying there aren't other potential sources of bloat and inefficiency that can build up over time -- simply that file fragmentation isn't one of them, as it doesn't introduce any noticeable performance issue on solid state media.


  • The people bitching the most about programmed device death are using iPhone 5 and earlier, yet they started with iPhone 5s and iOS 9. Duh....of course they're not going to find anything. iPad 2 users know what I'm talking about as well.
  • These benchmarks don't measure ui fluidness, app start times, etc.
  • These devices are assumed to last forever, because they are allegedly "solid-state". Why, I have a television from the 60's that still works! Smartphones are the same thing; why don't they last 50 years?

    Answer: Solid-state ain't really. Aside from the obvious cumulative physical damage from handling a small object constantly every day for years (something no other machines in our lives are subjected to except wristwatches and motor vehicles,) smartphones suffer from an internal degradation of their ther

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]