Why Your iPhone May Suddenly Feel Like It's Running Slower Than Usual

If it seems like your iPhone has been running a bit slower the last couple of weeks, it could all be in your head. Some interesting Google Trends data may explain what's known as the "Slow iPhone" phenomenon.

Image by Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock

The data from Google Trends, and charted here by Statista, show that searches for the term "iPhone slow" hit massive peaks every time a new iPhone is released. The "Slow iPhone" phenomenon has two potential causes. The first is that Apple usually releases a new version of iOS around the same time they launch a new iPhone, so some of the slowness is certainly caused by a newer OS chugging along on older hardware. In fact, holding off on that iOS update isn't a bad idea if your device is really old.

The iOS update doesn't really explain the huge drop off in Google searches after the iPhone launch, however, so there's likely another contributing cause to the spike. When people know the new iPhone is coming out, the new stuff makes their current devices feel inadequate, bulky, and slow. It's a way to justify to ourselves that we need a new one: "I need to get the new iPhone because mine has just been running really slow lately." There's nothing wrong with buying a new phone if that's what you were planning, but consider that your phone probably isn't running as slow as you think it is. You can check out the complete chart below.

The "Slow iPhone" Phenomenon [Statista via Business Insider]

Why Your iPhone May Suddenly Feel Like It's Running Slower Than Usual


    I'd be interesting to match up these search trends with actual iPhone benchmarks (before updating iOS that is, as it's known that some new iOS releases slow down phones, though not with malicious intent), because I'm sure some people wouldn't believe it's all in their heads. After all, it seems that Samsung device owners aren't as prone to that syndrome:


    The study compared those results with similar searches for one of Apple's main rivals but found that the term "Samsung Galaxy slow" was unaffected by new releases from Samsung.

    Interestingly enough, the last two "slow iPhone" spikes, pretty much line up with "slow android" jumps.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now