According to Statista reports, Samsung has the largest smartphone market share globally. Apple is in second place with its iPhone. Even though Apple has a smartphone market share of about 20%, it captures more than 70% of phone revenue worldwide. The rest of the revenue goes to Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and other manufacturers.
Apple only sells high-end phones, whereas Samsung makes high-end to budget phones in every price category.
Even though a buyer can purchase a Samsung phone at a discount price, Premium buyers still prefer to buy iPhones. There are several reasons for that. One of the primary reasons is every Samsung phone slows down over time. They can’t hold their performance consistently over several years. A premium user who experiences this performance degradation will typically veer to the iPhone.
Samsung phones slow down over time for several reasons. The primary causes are intentional slowing down by Samsung as part of the planned obsolescence strategy, poor software optimization, battery degradation, and Bloatware.
Every newly purchased phone would run faster without any hiccups. However, these phones become slow after several years, typically 18 to 24 months. Thus, many phone reviewers will praise and rave about how fast their phone is. Unfortunately, no phone reviewers review a phone after 24 months of continuous use. Thus no one in the media talks about it extensively.
In November 2020, Apple was fined $113 million for intentionally slowing down iPhones (source: NPR). In February 2020, a French court fined Apple $27 million for restricting older phones’ performance (source: BBC).
However, these investigations and lawsuits started around 2017. In 2018, an Italian court fined Samsung $5.7 million for deliberately slowing down its phones (source: AndroidAuthority, SamMobile).
Initially, Apple denied the allegations of the consumer fraud lawsuits brought by 30 US states. Later, Apple said they do it to protect older phones whose battery degraded.
Consumers don’t need proof that these mobile manufacturers intentionally throttle older phones’ performance. Numerous courts worldwide have fined both Samsung and Apple for their unethical business practices.
Initially, both of these companies denied these allegations. Later, however, Apple admitted its wrongdoing and took several measures to fix the issue, such as offering consumers a low-cost battery replacement program.
However, the most infuriating thing is Samsung NEVER admitted their wrongdoing even though consumers have proof that Samsung intentionally slows down older phones.
In 2022, it was found that Samsung was intentionally slowing down their premium phones again (source: SamMobile).
For example, a program runs on Samsung phones in the background named “Game Optimization Service (GOS).” This controls the CPU and GPU performance. Generally, this “Game Optimization Service (GOS)” throttles Samsung phones’ CPU and GPU performance.
However, The GOS has a long list of pre-approved apps for which it will not slow down the phone. For example, YouTube, Geekbench, and some games.
Thus, when a user uses benchmarking apps to find out the phone performance score, the GOS on the Samsung phone will unlock the full speed of the CPU and GPU. However, apps not pre-approved in the GOS allowlist will run almost 50% slower.
For example, numerous tests have shown that renaming an android package to “com.primatelabs.geekbench” — GeekBench (an industry-standard performance testing program) would run almost 200% faster. Similarly, renaming the original Geekbench to another package name not in the “Game Optimization Service” pre-approval list runs 50% slower (source: SamMobile).
Later, Samsung said that they would release software updates to unlock phones performance for every app.
The infuriating thing is Samsung only took measures when they got caught for this unethical behavior. Now, imagine what shady stuff they are doing for which they still have not gotten caught?
In the technology and manufacturing industry, planned obsolescence is used repeatedly where original manufacturers will stop providing updates and support for their old products.
In the software industry, the subscription-based model brings recurring revenue, and in the hardware industry, companies use planned obsolescence to get recurring hardware sales, revenue, and profit.
For example, most companies nowadays are anti-repair companies where they don’t allow a consumer to fix broken hardware. Vocal prime examples are Apple, John Deere, and Tesla.
The official and primary way to fix an Apple product is to visit an apple store. But most of the time, these stores ask for outrageous amounts of money to fix minor issues. Sometimes, the repair bill is as high as a new Apple product. It’s an indirect way to sell apple products.
Even though Samsung doesn’t have any open anti-repair position, Samsung doesn’t sell their phones parts to third-party either. Moreover, Samsung stops providing updates for most phones after 24-36 months. And budget phones never receive an update.
Samsung also follows this planned obsolescence path by not providing software updates and intentionally slowing down older phones to force users to purchase newer ones.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you are using your phone wrong. It’s Samsung who is deliberately slowing down your phone.
Poor OS Optimization
Samsung primarily is a hardware company, not a software company. On the contrary, Microsoft, Google, and Apple are mainly software companies.
Google develops the Android OS. Samsung takes this OS, modifies it, and uses it on their phones.
Android UI is JAVA-based. It’s well-known that JAVA is a resource-intensive programming language. Moreover, on Android, the UI and data processing happen simultaneously; it doesn’t prioritize UI performance. Thus it requires a lot of RAM.
All the android phones come with 4GB, 6GB, and sometimes 8GB RAM. A bigger RAM needs a bigger battery. This bigger RAM and battery aren’t for the phone user. In reality, because the Android OS is resource hungry, those RAMs and batteries are for the OS. Thus, even though newer phones come with a bigger battery and more RAMs each year, the performance increment isn’t that noteworthy.
Due to a lack of software expertise, Samsung’s Android OS optimization for their phones is rudimentary. Over time as more software updates come, those updates make a Samsung phone’s performance worse and slower.
Samsung phones are infested with unrelated third-party apps, also known as Bloatware. Though these bloatware apps vary depending on region, phone models, and carriers, every Samsung still comes with at least 10-15 of these apps.
For example, Samsung preinstalls Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Microsoft Drive, Instagram, etc. There are also redundant apps such as Samsung Emails and Gmail, Chrome and Samsung Browser, Google Play and Samsung App Store, etc.
A Samsung phone user can’t uninstall these system preloaded apps. Though a user can disable that Bloatware, still there are several services — apps without a UI — that run in the background that most users aren’t aware of. These apps and services consume valuable memory and waste critical phone resources and performance. Over time, these apps cumulatively slow down the Samsung phone.
The Samsung phone’s battery is also responsible for making a phone slower. It’s known that due to poor software optimization and hardware issues, the battery wears fast. Thus the battery health degrades over time.
It’s a common issue that Samsung phones become hot even during minor tasks such as playing games, browsing web pages, or watching videos.
Heat is a battery killer. Any battery would degrade if exposed to heat for a prolonged time. Samsung processors are not optimized and generate heat. The Samsung phone’s battery is under constant stress and degrades rapidly. A poor-performing battery slows down Samsung phones over time.
Poorly Coded Apps
Third-party apps are also responsible for slowing down Samsung phones.
Application Developers generally use a work phone to develop and test their phones. Moreover, they test those apps on the latest released phones and OS. Over time, developers add many features and more lines of code. If these codes are not optimized, it will degrade phones performance.
For example, even a year-old Samsung phone struggles to run Google maps and Facebook simultaneously. Over the years, Facebook apps have become resource-intensive. Similarly, each Google map update has a degraded performance than its predecessor.
Therefore, after each app update, Samsung phones become slower because of these poorly coded and optimized apps.
A manufacturer must optimize their hardware and software so that their phones run smoothly even after a few years. If a user needs to do a factory reset, uninstall or disable apps, and stop updates to make their phones faster, then the original manufacturer is doing a poor job.
Samsung phones slow down over time, and it’s not a user-created issue. This problem is widespread and proves Samsung’s failure as a phone manufacturer.