Old iPhone gone slow? It’s all in your head

If you’re one of those people who thinks their old iPhone appears to be going through a mid-life crisis when a new one comes out, a new study has confirmed you are not alone. Apparently, a number of individuals have felt the same way every year since 2008.

Using Google Trends data as its source, the research project uncovered that the term ‘iPhone Slow’ has peaked consistently from the time the iPhone 3G was launched. The volume of searches is highest right after an Apple handset is unveiled, and falls to normal levels a few weeks after.

So what’s causing this spike? German-based research firm Statista thinks that the phenomenon has two possible causes. One is purely psychological; the effect of seeing someone with the latest iPhone 6S and feeling the one you’re using is outdated and processing things at a snail’s pace.

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The other reason is more practical. Apple usually coincides the release of the latest version of iOS around the same time it announces a new handset. While it always tries to make the new software available to as many iPhone generations as possible, the OS never runs as smoothly as it could because of the older hardware in these devices.

It’s reasonable to assume that people updating their iPhones find their smartphone running slower due to this and turning to Google to find out why. According to the data collected by Statista, searches for ‘iPhone Slow’ reached 100, the highest search volume possible, when the iPhone 5S and 5C were unveiled in 2013.

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It’s an interesting look at how we psychologically react to new handset releases, since this occurrence is not just restricted to iPhones. Who among us hasn’t wanted to buy a new phone when a shinier version of the one we have comes out just a year later?