It is a truth universally acknowledged that as your iPhone starts to get older, it’ll run slower and slower until you finally give in and hand over another bunch of bills to Apple for a new model – or is it? Not according to a new set of benchmarks from Futuremark.
The performance-tracking experts crunched the numbers in their database, based on real-world tests, comparing the iPhone 5S across iOS 9, iOS 10, and iOS 11 stretching back to April 2016. They also looked at newer iPhone models across shorter time spans, and across the board the results were pretty consistent.
Based on the figures coming in from the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Physics test, iPhone 5S GPU performance hasn’t dipped significantly in the last 18 months. There has been a small fall in CPU performance, but not enough to be noticeable, according to Futuremark.
Blame it on the apps
“Our benchmarking data shows that, rather than intentionally degrading the performance of older models, Apple actually does a good job of supporting its older devices with regular updates that maintain a consistent level of performance across iOS versions,” says Futuremark in its press release.
However, the company does admit that new iOS updates can put more demands on older hardware, and newer apps might not run as smoothly on older iPhones – in other words, the same amount of CPU and GPU power is available, but apps begin to suck up more of it, leaving you staring at loading screens. What’s more, the benchmarks don’t cover battery life, which can often fall off a cliff on outdated hardware.
There could also be a psychological factor at play, Futuremark says – the thought of a brand new iPhone X might be making your old iPhone seem that little bit slower. Your mileage may vary of course, but it seems if you’re stuck with a sluggish old iPhone, it’s not necessarily Apple’s fault.