How long will Apple support iPhones? (2024)

If you're considering buying an older generation or used iPhone, or wondering if it's worth updating your current device, an important factor to consider is how long Apple will provide support for that device.

There are two ways Apple supports iPhones. One of these is the software – which ensures that any errors and security flaws are resolved. The other is the hardware: providing the parts and labor to fix a problem with your phone (at a price, of course).

It is for this reason that we discourage people from buying old iPhones in particular. The risk of an error occurring or being exposed to security risks is too great.

The good news is that Apple has been supporting iPhones for quite a long time. Software support lasts a good eight to ten years, while hardware support may be available on handsets that are five to seven years old

Read on to find outwhich iPhones are supported with the latest operating systems, and which is supported for maintenance and repair.

We also have a manual for ithow to get a broken iPhone repairedInwhat Apple product repairs cost and how long they take.

Updated on December 11, 2023 with news that Apple has moved the original 2016 iPhone SE to the list of 'Vintage' iPhones. More below.

How long will Apple support iOS?

From time to time, Apple releases important security updates for iOS. However, it doesn't release an update for every version of iOS, meaning some iPhones won't get this fix for what could be dangerous vulnerabilities.

As of October 2023, Apple will support the following versions of its operating systems for bug and security updates: iOS 17, iOS 16, and iOS 15. The company released iOS 16.7.2 and iOS 15.8 with security updates on October 25, 2023. The company is expected to release iOS 16.7.3 in December 2023.

While Apple continues to support security updates for iOS 15, the 2016 iPhone 7, 2016 iPhone SE, and 2015 iPhone 6S are still supported. Note that the iPhone 6s is considered vintage by Apple - more on that below. (Apple does not need to support iOS 14 and iOS 13 because all iPhones running these operating systems can run iOS 15).

In January 2023, Apple also released asecurity update for iOS 12, which addressed serious security issues in iPhones 6 and 5s, as well as some iPads that can't run iPadOS. However, we don't expect Apple to release any further updates for iOS 12. If you're still using an iPhone 5s or iPhone 6, it's definitely time to upgrade.

Statista (a market and consumer data provider) publishes a graph showing how long Apple will support older iPhones. The company updated this chart in June 2023 and added iOS 17.

The chart shows how long the software on iPhones has been supported by Apple, and the good news is that security support for the operating systems continues for years after those phones are sold, especially with the newer iPhones.

The firstiPhone, which was launched in 2007, could run iPhone OS 3, which was supported by Apple until 2010. The iPhone is considered outdated by Apple.

OfiPhone 3G, which launched in 2008, was able to run iOS 4.0, which itself was supported until 2011. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are considered outdated by Apple.

The length of support increased with the launch ofIphone 4sin 2011. That phone could run operating systems up to iOS 9. Apple was still supporting iOS 9 in 2019 when it released a GPS-related update in July. iPhones 4 and 4s are considered outdated by Apple.

OfIphone 5cwith iOS 10, which also received the GPS-related update in July 2019. iPhones 5 and 5c are considered outdated by Apple.

OfIphone 5sInIphone 6both run iOS 12, for which Apple released a security update in January 2023. This update has been released for the few devices that do not support iOS 15. It's unlikely that Apple will continue to support iOS 12. These phones are considered vintage by Apple.

iOS 15, which was released in September 2021, supports all iPhones fromiPhone 6sand later, just like iOS 14 and iOS 13. Both iOS 14 and iOS 13 are considered outdated by Apple because the same phones can run iOS 15. iPhone 6s is already considered vintage by Apple.

iOS 16, which arrived in September 2022, runs on all iPhones fromiPhone 8and later – but note that not all features are available on the older handsets.

iOS 17arrived in September 2023 and runs on all iPhones fromiPhone XSand beyond – meaning the iPhone X and iPhone 8 are stuck with iOS 16.

What is the oldest iPhone still supported?

Since Apple doesn't appear to continue supporting iOS 12, there is no software support for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, or 6 Plus. These phones are already considered 'Vintage' by Apple (see below).

We recommend that if you have an iPhone 6 or older and are concerned about security, it's time to update your iPhone. This is because Apple is unlikely to release any more security updates for that phone.

However, Apple continues to support iOS 15, so the oldest supported iPhone is the iPhone 6S. However, this model is already on Apple's vintage list, so we still recommend updating to a newer iPhone. It's a similar story with the original iPhone SE.

When Apple introduces iOS 18 later in 2024, we expect support for iOS 15 to end, along with support for everything older than the iPhone 8 (which launched in September 2017).

We have a list of themany version of iOSwhere you can see the latest versions of iOS and how long Apple will support iOS.

When will Apple stop supporting iPhones?

Software-wise, it's not a bad result, but if your iPhone has a bug, can Apple provide the parts to fix it?

Apple will support iPhones (and all devices it makes) for seven years from the last time it sold that model. As long as your iPhone was still sold by Apple up until seven years ago, the company will still service it — in other words, help you fix it (for a price).

This is where Apple's list of outdated and vintage products comes in handy.

Apple reports this on its websiteherthat “Owners of iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac products can obtain service and parts from Apple or its service providers for five years after the product is no longer sold.”

The following iPhones are eligibleDeprecated, meaning sales stopped over seven years ago and Apple has now discontinued all hardware services.

  • iPhone
  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone3GS
  • iPhone 4 (certain models now obsolete)
  • Iphone 4s
  • iPhone 5c (discontinued September 2013, obsolete 2021)

And these iPhones are listed asYear, meaning they haven't been sold in more than five years (but less than seven years). Apple will still service these products.

  • iPhone 4 8GB (discontinued in 2013 but sold in India until February 2014, likely to be obsolete very soon)
  • iPhone 5 (discontinued September 2013, likely to be obsolete soon)
  • iPhone 5s (discontinued 2016, vintage 2021)
  • iPhone 6 (discontinued 2016, vintage 2021)
  • iPhone 6 Plus (discontinued in 2016,cohort in 2021)
  • iPhone 6s (discontinued 2016, vintage 2022)
  • iPhone 6s Plus (discontinued 2018, vintage 2022)
  • iPhone SE, 2016 (discontinued in 2018,year 2023)

Apple will only service iPhones older than the original iPhone SE if it has the necessary parts.INAny iPhones that come with these handsets should be supported by Apple.

This suggests that while the iPhone 6s will continue to receive software support for a while, it may not be repairable if it breaks.

Maybe you are also interested in learninghow long Apple supports MacsInhow long Apple supports iPads.

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How long will Apple support iPhones? (2024)
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