Much is said, not only in relation to Apple, but also to the entire world of electronic consumer goods in general, about the issue of scheduled obsolescence – that is, there is supposed to be a deliberate attitude by the manufacturers themselves to undermine the functioning of their products, causing them to lose quality ahead of time. Then, under the justification of “natural” aging, they encourage consumers to spend money on a newer product.
Speaking specifically of Apple, one of the most common things in the internet universe is seeing consumers dissatisfied with the loss of performance of their devices. Some cases, of course, are more emblematic than others – just remember the disaster that was the iPhone 4 running iOS 7 that gives you an idea of how frustrating it is to have a device that perfectly met your needs to, one day, make a stalled cart without much prospect of improvement.
Well… if this study of Futuremark – producer of celebrated tests of benchmark like PCMark and 3DMark – has something to prove to us, is that this loss of performance is only seen in the real world, because in numbers it is not quite how the band plays, no.
The company’s people took all the models of iPhones from the 5s until the 7 and gathered the scores related to the performance of the processor and the graphics chip, month by month, from April last year until September 2017. The graphics prove: unless the numbers are cold and hard, the peak of the devices remains unchanged month after month month, system after system. Note, by the way, the colors of the survey: in gray, we have the benchmarks performed on iOS 9; in blue on iOS 10 and in orange on iOS 11.
Looking specifically at the iPhone 5s – the oldest device in the class and, therefore, the one that would theoretically suffer the most from the effects of time and supposed programmed obsolescence – there is an almost insignificant loss in CPU measurements, while the GPU remains basically unchanged over time. In some cases, such as the iPhone 7, the processor does show a certain drop over the months; nothing, however, that represents a significant change in the performance of the device.
I repeat: these, however, are just numbers based on an objective test of performance measurement. The empirical experience will always present variables that a laboratory cannot capture – and, in this sense, much remains to be improved both at Apple and in the world of technology in general.
Of course, no one is asking for a five-year-old device to work the same way and at the same speed as one designed yesterday. The desire is for companies to start thinking of their creations as long-term investments that they (often) are and, in line with that, design them with the force of time in mind instead of focusing only on making them lighter, thin and beautiful (which is also important, don’t get me wrong).
Now it’s up to you: how are your experiences with iGadgets old? Leave your answers below!