Apple iOS 16 supports last 5 years of devices, requires an iPhone 8 or newer


Posts: 1,246   +24
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In context: People who own an iPhone or an iPad can attest to getting several years of software upgrades, which is more than you can expect from most Android devices, including those made by Google. Apple's mobile devices also receive timely updates regardless of the model or mobile service provider, which is why iOS 15 has achieved an adoption rate of almost 90 percent within a year of release.

This week, Apple announced iOS 16, a major update that brings on lock screen improvements, automatic security updates, passwordless logins, and more. The company says the OS update will be compatible with iPhone 8 and newer models, while previous iPhones and iPod Touch are being left behind as they're equipped with aging chipsets. That isn't the case with iPadOS 16, which will be available for all devices that were eligible for iPadOS 15.

In other words, those of you with an iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, as well as the first-generation iPhone SE will be stuck on iOS 15 for the lifetime of your device. Last month, Apple discontinued the iPod after two decades, and the seventh generation iPod Touch will be the last of its kind. As you'd expect, that also means it won't run iOS 16.

Devices that use A9 and A10 Fusion chipsets will not receive the upgrade though most of these devices are now six to seven years old, save for the 7th generation iPod Touch which was launched in 2019. Still, Apple usually provides an additional year or two of security updates to devices that can't upgrade to the latest version of iOS, though there's no official policy that dictates this.

In the case of iPadOS 16, all devices that were eligible for the iPadOS 15 upgrade are also compatible with the upcoming release. That includes iPad 5th generation or newer, iPad Air 3rd generation or newer, iPad mini 4th generation or newer, and all iPad Pro models. Some of the new multitasking features such as Stage Manager and external display support do require an M1-powered device.

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Posts: 2,257   +4,394
Five years is a damn good track record.
It's better than Android as Lew Zealand I'll give you that.

However I wouldn't go as far as calling it good and that's mostly because Apple is really behind on some basic features like widgets on the lockscreen and such: There's no reason those features couldn't have been on iOS 7 years ago and there's still kinda no reason they should be exclusive to new hardware since it doesn't really needs the new hardware at all.

But if we assume iphone users are ok with just being able to customize and do less with their phones specially if it's not the Apple way, then they get more security updates than Android which are well, pathetic on that regard.


Posts: 886   +1,417
Business-wise, this is smart on Apple's part to end support for multiple older models now. They released the latest iPhone SE less than 3 months ago for the price of a mid-tier smartphone as a pathway for these users to upgrade to, which caters perfectly to that audience. It offers the latest CPU with good battery (not great, but these older phones had worse) at a reasonable price while now supporting 5G, providing everything you need for a smartphone to be future-proofed. These iPhone buyers have gone years without buy new phones because they want a great TCO value proposition, and Apple is in fact leading here through long software updates. If Apple supports the SE for 5-7 years again, these customers will almost certainly come back to buy from them. I say all this because I just retired my iPhone 6S in March (it was released 6.5 years earlier) to upgrade to the SE.

Android can't compete here because software optimized for an array of devices is costly. Samsung for example is improving by trying to offer up to 4 years of software updates to mid-tier phones one day (please correct me with specific Samsung Galaxy A-series devices this applies to). There are so many great Android phones and they do provide excellent value, but the iPhone appeals to the best value oriented customers. This is so ironic considering Apple charges a premium for their devices and always offers outrageously expensive products side by side.


Posts: 4,035   +4,693
These updates are more gimmick than anything else. They tend to introduce more bugs than they fix. If your software is working without any issues not updating is safer and more stable. iOS here seems to be far ahead of Android since there's a gorillion Android devices maintained by a bunch of different phone makers that have budget oriented devices which are never meant to be supported when they're made.


Posts: 65   +57
iOS keeps getting buggier and buggier with newer versions. Graphical glitches that are simple oversight have been ignored, settings that break, and occasionally, choppy frame rates. I'm getting tired of it and wish I could actually install an OLDER version of iOS on my original iPhone SE.