When considering purchasing an outdated or secondhand iPhone, or deciding if it’s necessary to upgrade your current phone, it is crucial to think about how long Apple will provide support for that device.
Apple offers two forms of support for iPhones. The first involves software maintenance to address any glitches or security vulnerabilities. The second entails providing necessary components and labor to repair phone issues (for a fee).
We discourage individuals from purchasing extremely outdated iPhone devices for this reason. The possibility of encountering malfunctions or being vulnerable to security threats is too great.
The good news is that Apple does support iPhones for a reasonably long time. Software support lasts more than eight to ten years, while hardware support can be available on five to seven-year-old handsets
Learn which iPhones are compatible with the newest operating systems, and which ones can be serviced and repaired.
We offer a manual on obtaining repairs for a damaged iPhone, including the cost and time frame for Apple product repairs.
What is the duration of Apple’s support for iOS?
Occasionally, Apple releases significant security updates for iOS. However, not all versions of iOS receive an update, resulting in some iPhones remaining vulnerable to potentially harmful vulnerabilities.
Starting in September 2023, Apple will provide bug and security updates for the following versions of its operating systems: iOS 17, iOS 16, and possibly iOS 15. If Apple stops supporting security updates for iOS 15, it will no longer be compatible with the 2016 iPhone 7, 2016 iPhone SE, and 2015 iPhone 6S. It is important to note that according to Apple, the iPhone 6S is now considered vintage. This means that it will no longer be supported by Apple. However, devices that are able to run iOS 15, such as those running iOS 14 or iOS 13, do not need to be supported by Apple.
In January 2023, Apple released a security update for iOS 12 that fixed significant security vulnerabilities in iPhone 6 and 5s models, as well as certain iPads that are not compatible with iPadOS. However, it is unlikely that Apple will continue to release updates for iOS 12. If you are still using an iPhone 5s or iPhone 6, it is recommended to upgrade to a newer device.
In June 2023, Statista, a company that offers market and consumer data, released an updated chart displaying the duration of Apple’s support for older iPhone models. The new chart now includes information on iOS 17.
The chart indicates the duration of Apple’s software support for iPhones. The positive update is that security assistance for the operating systems has extended well beyond the sale of these phones, particularly for the newer models.
The original iPhone, released in 2007, was compatible with iPhone OS 3 until it was discontinued by Apple in 2010. Apple now considers the iPhone to be outdated.
The iPhone 3G, released in 2008, had the capability to operate iOS 4.0, which was supported until 2011. Apple now considers the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS as obsolete.
The duration of assistance extended when the iPhone 4s was released in 2011. This particular device was capable of running operating systems up to iOS 9. Apple continued to provide support for iOS 9 in 2019, issuing a GPS-related update in July of that year. The iPhone 4 and 4s are now considered outdated by Apple.
The iPhone 5c uses iOS 10, which was updated with GPS improvements in July 2019. Apple has deemed the iPhone 5 and 5c as outdated.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 are both operating on the iOS 12 system. In January 2023, Apple released a security update specifically for devices that are unable to support iOS 15. It is unlikely that Apple will continue to provide support for iOS 12 for an extended period of time. These devices are now considered “vintage” by Apple.
The latest version of iOS, released in September 2021, is compatible with all models of iPhone from the iPhone 6s and newer, similar to iOS 14 and iOS 13. Apple has deemed both iOS 14 and 13 as outdated since they can also be used on the same phones that support iOS 15. The iPhone 6s is already classified as a vintage model by Apple.
The iOS 16, released in September 2022, is compatible with all iPhones from the iPhone 8 and newer models. However, it is important to note that not all features are accessible on older versions of the iPhone.
In September 2023, iOS 17 was released and is compatible with all iPhones from the iPhone XS model and newer. This means that the iPhone X and iPhone 8 will not be able to upgrade to iOS 17 and will remain on iOS 16.
Which iPhone is the oldest one that is still receiving support?
If Apple continues to support iOS 12, the oldest iPhone to be supported by Apple would be the iPhone 5s. Support for that iPhone and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unlikely to continue though, with each of those phones already considered vintage by Apple (see below).
Hence, we recommend updating your iPhone if you own an iPhone 6 or an older model and are worried about security. This is because Apple will most likely not release any further security updates, rendering the iPhone 5s and 6 unsupported by the company.
If Apple decides to maintain support for iOS 15, the oldest iPhone that will still receive support would be the iPhone 6S, which is already included in Apple’s vintage list.
In the future, only iOS 14 and newer versions will be compatible. At this time, the oldest iPhone model to receive security updates will be the iPhone 8.
We possess a compilation of all iOS versions, displaying the most recent ones and their corresponding duration of support from Apple.
When will Apple discontinue support for iPhones?
In regards to software, that is a satisfactory performance. However, if your iPhone has a malfunction, will Apple have the necessary components to repair it?
Apple will provide support for iPhones and all its other devices for a period of seven years after the last sale of a particular model. This means that as long as your iPhone was still available for purchase by Apple up to seven years ago, the company will assist in fixing it, though there may be a cost associated with this service.
This is where Apple’s list of discontinued and old products is useful.
According to the official Apple website, individuals who own an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac product can receive service and parts from Apple or their authorized service providers for up to five years after the product has been discontinued.
The listed iPhones are now considered Obsolete, indicating that their sales were stopped over seven years ago and Apple no longer offers hardware repairs for them.
Some versions of the iPhone 4 are no longer in use.
The iPhone 5c was discontinued in September 2013 and will become obsolete in 2021.
These iPhones are classified as Vintage, indicating that they have not been on the market for over five years (but less than seven years). However, Apple will continue to provide service for these products.
The 8GB iPhone 4 was discontinued in 2013 but continued to be sold in India until February 2014. However, it is expected to become obsolete in the near future.
The iPhone 5 was discontinued in September 2013 and is expected to become obsolete in the near future.
The iPhone 5s was no longer in production after 2016, but is now considered a vintage model in 2021.
The iPhone 6, which was no longer produced after 2016, is now considered a vintage model in 2021.
The iPhone 6 Plus, which was no longer in production after 2016, has become a vintage model in 2021.
The iPhone 6s was discontinued in 2016 and will be considered vintage in 2022.
The iPhone 6s Plus was discontinued in 2018 and became a vintage model in 2022.
Apple will only provide maintenance for iPhones that are older than the iPhone 6s, as long as the necessary components are available. A
All subsequent iPhone models should be compatible with Apple’s support.
This indicates that although the iPhone 6s may continue to receive software updates for some time, it may not be repairable if it becomes damaged.
You might also want to know the duration of Mac support from Apple and the duration of iPad support from Apple.
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