Slow iPhone? It's Probably in Your Head
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Slow iPhone? It’s Probably in Your Head



With every new iOS update that releases, there are a bevy of problems that users come across, with perhaps the biggest issue being a slow iPhone in general, but it’s probably all in your head.

Users are bound to have problems when updating to an all-new version of iOS, and iOS 9 was no exception, especially with iOS 9.0.2, which is supposed to come with bug fixes and overall improvements, but problems are still arising for some users.

Many people think it could be an Apple conspiracy — that the company is purposely making newer iOS versions act wonky on older iPhones and iPads in order to get users to upgrade to a newer device. It’s not the craziest thing to believe in, as that’s definitely a good way to boost sales, but it seems a little far-fetched for sure.

After all, it’s simply just a new software version that’s rolling out to the masses for the first time, and when that happens, some users are bound to have problems.

iPhone-6 copy

However, according to Statista, this happens every single year when a new iPhone and new iOS version is released, and complaints get worse every year.

Of course, as previously mentioned, a few users are going to come across problems, as it’s nearly impossible to have a nearly perfect rollout of a new piece of software, but Statista’s number show that search results for “iPhone slow” spike like crazy whenever a new iPhone and iOS version are released, to the point where you’d think that Apple bungles every single release every year.


The explanation for this? Statista says that it’s possible that your “slow iPhone” is really just a figment of your imagination influenced by the outside world. Once a new iPhone releases, your current iPhone model that you’ve been using all year without problems is suddenly experiencing problems, but how could that be?

Of course, the more believable scenario is simply just iOS being iOS:

“iPhone releases often coincide with the release of a new version of iOS, the iPhone’s operating system. While Apple has always made a point of making iOS backward compatible with older iPhone models as long as possible, new operating systems tend not to run as smoothly on the aged hardware of older models. So it seems plausible that people would update to the new iOS version, encounter performance issues and turn to Google to find out what’s wrong with their phones.”

However, Statista points out that this really doesn’t explain the sudden drop-off that occurs after a few weeks following the new iPhone and iOS releases. At that point, users are suddenly not searching for solutions to problems as much, and it usually goes down to normal levels until the next year when a newer iPhone and iOS version is released.


At this point, it’s easy to believe that users are simply just making excuses in order to have a viable reason to upgrade to a new iPhone when a new one comes out.

That’s not too surprising, as the iPhone 6s is a pretty decent upgrade over the iPhone 6, coming with the usual performance improvements on the inside, but also coming with a way better camera that can shoot 4K video, as well as being equipped with Apple’s 3D Touch display.

3D Touch alone makes the iPhone 6s a decent upgrade, allowing users to tap on the screen to select something or open an app as usual, but also press harder on the screen to bring up alternative options and shortcuts, which can provide a productivity boost for users.

Of course, if you have an older iPhone, like the iPhone 4S, it’s actually not a bad time to upgrade, as the device is reaching its death bed, but if you have an iPhone 5s or something a bit newer, slow performance probably isn’t as big of a problem as you’re thinking it is.



  1. jimr450

    10/07/2015 at 1:54 pm

    It’s not a conspiracy, newer software is always coming with more features, more function/module hooks, more visual flair, and all that will usually slow older hardware down, even if that hardware was very powerful to begin with and some further OS optimizations were made. It’s just the nature of computer science/engineering folks. When they make a new more powerful phone, they’re going to cram more into the new OS to take advantage of that new power as much as possible to dazzle potential buyers, in general. That will always take some degree of toll on older slower hardware. So Apple doesn’t force you to upgrade to the newer OS, but offers it for as many older pieces of hardware as they can so that people can get the benefits of newer features. But those people also have to accept that these newer features might cause a little more lag at times on their older device. It’s your choice. My iPhone 6 is definitely a little more laggy and a tad bit slower on iOS9 than it was on iOS8. But it’s not so much that I wish I didn’t upgrade. I can live with it, it’s still fairly smooth overall, just not quite as smooth. But I wouldn’t go further and when iOS10 comes out, I’ll either not upgrade the software or get the iPhone 7. (who am I kidding, of course I’ll get an iPhone 7 lol)

    • billdakelski

      01/07/2016 at 12:40 pm

      Conspiracy or not, a 4 to 6 second lag is not just in my head.

      “Apple doesn’t force you to upgrade to the newer OS”, .. no but, they purposefully sneak it by unsuspecting users, then lock them out of downgrading. Which is disingenuous and worse than than just admitting their agenda and requiring it.

      As a faithful (read silly) user of mac products since 1985, I have used every major update and nearly every patch in the last 30 years. I have been spanked time and again for not learning the golden rule of updating Mac major updates:

      On most any new Apple device it takes about two major updates for them to make it work right. Once you get to an update that works never update that device again. Quite often this this is the last patch of the second major update.

      By the time any real innovations are made the device is outdated anyway. somewhere around 10 years.

  2. Buck Wheat

    10/07/2015 at 2:22 pm

    I used to think the same thing until Volkswagen got caught tweaking their software

  3. pozablo

    01/24/2016 at 11:12 am

    how much money would you like to put on your assertion that it’s in our heads?
    I’m happy to bet you 2:1 odds any time.

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