Apple has pushed back against the notion of forced obsolescence with the latest version of iOS. Andrew Cunningham, reporting for Ars Technica:
…iOS 12 is a convincing counterargument to the theory that Apple intentionally hobbles its old devices to force people to buy new ones. In addition to running more like iOS 10 did, it supports devices going all the way back to 2013, which sets a new record for iOS’ software support window. Given their age, these phones and tablets feel reasonably good in everyday real-world use, including browsing, emailing, and using most apps.
I’m still rocking an iPhone 6 (I know, don’t judge- my kids get braces instead) and I can say the performance improvement is noticeable. Podcasts is my go-to app on my commute and I no longer have to wait 10-15 seconds after launch to actually play anything.