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August 2 2014 7 02 /08 /August /2014 10:22



Research finds an exact correlation between Google searches for the terms "slow iPhone" and the launch of new Apple phone models

Apple is one company that is years in the center of the debate on planned obsolescence, a concept that refers to the supposed schedule of products and services-electronic-mostly by the manufacturers in order to determine (and reduce ) life.

Last week, research published in the blog of The New York Times The Upshot, a specialist in data journalism means, offered some revealing figures serve as an argument for advocates of a conspiracy theory according to which slow down your Apple iPhone old just as the launch of new models in its 'smartphone'.

Using Google Trends, a tool that explores trends in Google search, a student at Harvard economics has found that peaks on the correlation of search terms 'iPhone slow' (slow iPhone) coincide exactly with the release dates of the new versions of the iPhone.


By themselves, these data do not demonstrate that handling Apple iOS, the operating system of the iPhone(cute iphone cases), to cause their old devices to work worse in the days immediately following the release of their new phones. However, there are a few indications that would feed this theory.

First, Apple is the only major company in the industry of smartphones that combines media (control over the iOS operating system) and motives (selling more devices) to perform this alleged practice. His main rival in the field of software for mobile devices is Android, but Google does not manufacture phones beyond the Nexus range. His business in this field is to equip phones other hardware manufacturers such as Samsung, responsible for the iPhone's main competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S. Samsung range, in turn, does not develop mobile operating systems, and therefore not has the potential ability to manipulate the functionality of their devices.


Research has also crossed data search "Samsung Galaxy slow" with the release dates of 'smartphone' logo from the Korean manufacturer. As seen in the figure, no significant variation is not appreciated.

A "benign" and a "malicious" explanation

Journalist and Professor David Leonhardt, author of the text The Upshot, provides two possible explanations for the correlation between the user searches on Google for the terms "slow iPhone" and the launch of new phones from Apple. On the one hand, a plausible hypothesis to consider is the "psychological effect" that occurs in iPhone users by launching new products. When a new device "faster and stronger" is announced, consumers may have the sudden feeling that your iPhone does not work as well as it used to.

But there is another possible cause for this alleged "slowdown" of the iPhone is produced at the right time the launch of a new version. The release of new versions of its flagship product tends to coincide with the release of a new version of iOS. Presumably these OS updates are optimized for the latest device available. It could be that Apple developers, consciously or unconsciously, not take into account the behavior of the new versions of iOS in previous versions of the iPhone.

This explains, to a greater or lesser extent, the difference between the data provided by Google Trends about "slow iPhone" and "Samsung Galaxy slow", taking into consideration that almost nine out of ten Apple phone users use the latest version of iOS, while only 20% of Android users have updated the software on your phone.

This research concludes the author, it is also a demonstration of the advantages and disadvantages of Big Data. On the one hand, today is possible to measure a sense (in this case the "frustration level" of iPhone users because your phone(Samsung Galaxy S5 Cases) works worse just when they release a new version) through tools such as Google Trends; secondly, the data obtained are only correlations, which although significant are unable by themselves to shed definitive conclusions with substantial evidence demonstrating things like, for example, that Apple deliberately slowing down the old iPhone with the objective of persuade their customers to buy the new model.

In any case, whether this is proven, it would be an absurd practice by Apple, as evidenced by another text Economix blog, also published in The New York Times. Firstly the legal risk would entail do it; and secondly, for the facilities that this would give the competition, which will be sufficient to differentiate these practices to conquer Apple customers.

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