Obsolete arguments


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Hey, remember when the New York Times accused Apple of deliberately obsoleting iPhones? Let’s do that again.

“Hold the Phone: A Big-Data Conundrum” (tip o’ the antlers to Ellyn MacNamara).

Writing for the Times, Harvard economics professor Sendhil Mullainathan notes that Laura Trucco, a Ph.D. student in economics at Harvard, checked Google results for “iPhone slow” searches and found they correlated with launches of new phones. This is apparently a thing you can do to get credit toward a Harvard Ph.D.

“I checked Google and Wikipedia!”

Anyhoo, Mullainathan at least cautions that correlation is not causation and that the real reason iPhones might feel slower is because Apple releases new versions of iOS at the same time. The new software might legitimately be running slower, he says, or it might just make you more aware of how your old phone is running.

By and large, Mullainathan’s piece is pretty staid, other than lauding Catherine “Why Apple Wants To Bust Your iPhone” Rampell. Rampell is guilty of exactly the crimes that Mullainathan chastises. Her piece was so bad that even Gizmodo rebuked it. That’s bad. Still, while Mullainathan grumpily admits to feeling that Apple deliberately engages in planned obsolescence, he notes every scientific reason why he could be wrong.

Hey, if they locked us up for having feelings, the Macalope would be pounding rocks in whatever prison our dystopian, genetically-enhanced cyborg overlords plan on sending people with feelings to.

So, that’s the New York Times. How, you’re probably wondering, did this get re-reported by The Daily Mail?

“Does Apple deliberately slow its old models before a new release? Searches for ‘iPhone slow’ show a spike ahead of launches” (no link but tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody).

Study has fuelled suggestions Apple engages in ‘planned obsolescence’

By people who can’t read.

No, that’s not fair. It’s possible they can read and they just don’t understand the meanings of words.

Writing for the New York Times, Sendhil Mullainathan, a professor of economics at Harvard, described the results as ‘striking’.

Yes, he did say that, right before providing a dozen reasons why it might have nothing to do with planned obsolescence.

But enough of Mr. Harvard Science Guy. Let’s go to the people who would really know.

While some MailOnline readers haven’t noticed a slow down, others claim that Apple is sabotaging older phones through software updates.

Others claim the government is sending thought-control rays into their brains while even more wonder aloud “HOW IS BABBY MADE?”

Meanwhile, in 2012 Apple was sued in Brazil by the Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law Software over the launch of the iPad Air.

The organisation claimed that because it had the new retina screen it made the iPad 3 redundant and that Apple was changing its devices too quickly.

American lawyers tip their hats to you, Brazil! You have bested them in the art of the baseless, money-grabbing lawsuit. Keep at it! If you’re successful, you’ll soon stop all of human progress!

Dom Ferkin, managing direction of UK-based iOS experts, Creation Application, told MailOnline that he doesn’t believe Apple are doing this intentionally.

He also made a lot of heavy sighing sounds and repeatedly asked if we were really suggesting this.

OK, it’s The Daily Mail. What do we expect from a publication with a sidebar festooned with buxom bikini-clad ladies? What is this sensationalism if not the buxom bikini-clad lady of Apple coverage?

Apple is yet to respond.

Yeah, you keep waiting for that.

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