It’s no secret that the average iPhone user replaces their smartphone much sooner than the average Android users, and some people believe that this is because Apple weakens older iPhones whenever a new one is released. There’s not much evidence to support that claim, however, and Apple claims that it expects iPhone users to replace their old smartphones after three years, even though most of them do so after one or two. This claim is supported by that fact that Apple brings iOS updates to iPhones for three years after their release, or even longer in some cases.
Apple has said that it expects so-called first owners of £500 iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches to replace them after only three years of use, and Mac computers only four. As part of the company’s new environmental push, which includes its new Apps for Earth campaign with the WWF, Apple has listed how long it expects its products to last for their “first owners” and therefore how much they contribute to the greenhouse gas lifecycle. Within a new question and answer section Apple said: “Years of use, which are based on first owners, are assumed to be four years for OS X and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices.” That assessment doesn’t take into account the recycling of devices, their reconditioning and their resale, of course, but when you buy a new iPhone 6S for £539, Apple expects it to last three years, something many suspected. Apple has been accused of intentionally slowing down iPhones every time a new one is released, although there is little evidence to support the theory. Until recently the company only provided software support for an iPhone or iPad for around three years, typically providing two major iOS version updates from the moment they were released. The launch of iOS 8 and then iOS 9, which still supports the iPhone 4S released in October 2011, changed that.