Last week, a story went viral that claimed Apple was intentionally slowing down older iPhones to push people to buy its latest models.

The claim was based on data which shows Google searches for "iPhone slow" spiking dramatically with the release of each new model.

That's been happening for year. People don't understand data and outlets are so crazed about getting sensational headlines they don't stop and think or they simply prioritize clicks over facts. I wrote about the reason for "iPhone slow" search spikes back in 2014:

Since Apple is updating almost everyone at the same time, searches will all be performed around the same time. Since Samsung and other Android manufacturers are updating only a few at a time and at different times, searches will be spread out across a very, very wide range of times.

Apple has a performance team tasked with making sure older devices don't slow down. Many engineers and others in the company carry older devices specifically to test for issues. And almost everyone has parents, siblings, kids, and other family members and friends on older devices. As a company, Apple does everything they it to ensure all supported devices run iOS as best as they can.

FutureMark went on to test raw processor performance of a range of iOS 11-supported devices:

We looked at data for the iPhone 5s first because, if older devices are being deliberately slowed, the effect should be most obvious with models that have been around for longer.

The chart below shows iPhone 5s GPU performance over time. Each bar shows the average 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Graphics test score calculated from all results submitted during that month. A higher score indicated better performance. The bars are coloured according to iOS version.

As you can see, iPhone 5s GPU performance has remained consistent from iOS 9 to iOS 11 with only minor variations that fall well within normal levels.

What this shows is that Apple doesn't artificially slow down processors on older iPhones. It doesn't show how well Apple or app developers optimize code for those processors.

So, while it's great FutureMark is helping to dispell the dumbest of the dumb stories, there's still a lot of work Apple can do to improve things like frame-rate and interaction speeds on older devices. That's typically what happens in the point releases. (No amount of internal testing can come close to the data and insight you get from millions of people suddenly hitting the new version.)

Clean installs can help with that as well. I still install clean every year, even though it's a pain in the apps, and I still feel like I get better performance because of it.

Either way, "iPhone slow" simply isn't a thing, even if every year, every forum and click-site tries its best to make it into one. So, if you ever hear a friend or family members asking about it, explain it to them. And if they need help troubleshooting specific issues, just send them iMore's way.

iPhone X + iPhone 8