Most iPhones tend to get more than six or even eight years of support, which is way more than almost everything you can find in the Android sphere.
If you want to update your iPhone or simply know if your current handset will support the new iOS 16, you’ve come to the right place.
This article will answer how long Apple will support each iPhone model, ensuring that the device receives the essential software and security updates.
How long will my iPhone be supported?
To answer how long Apple supports iPhones, we must first understand what it means for a handset to get too “old.” Simply put, it’s a consequence of new demands on the internal components due to recent updates of the OS or new technical requirements from the latest apps.
A new iOS update comes out, and your device can no longer meet those demands. As a consequence, the support stops at that moment.
Let’s compile all historical data about the support of every iPhone model, accompanied by release dates, discontinuation dates, and iOS compatibility.
Also, don’t hesitate to look at the complete stats page on RefurbMe, where you can find additional information about prices, days from release to refurb, and average discounts on all our Apple products, among others.
|Model||Release date||Discontinuation date||Supported||iOS compatibility|
|iPhone||Jun 29, 2007||Jul 15, 2018||No||iOS 3.0|
|iPhone 3G||Jun 09, 2008||Jun 7, 2010||No||iOS 4|
|iPhone 3GS||Jun 19, 2009||Sep 12, 2012||No||iOS 6|
|iPhone 4||Jun 24, 2010||Sep 10, 2013||No||iOS 7|
|iPhone 4s||Oct 14, 2011||Sep 4, 2014||No||iOS 9|
|iPhone 5C||Sep 20, 2013||Sep 9, 2015||No||iOS 10|
|iPhone 5S||Sep 20, 2013||Mar 21, 2016||No||iOS 12|
|iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus||Sep 25, 2014||Sep 7, 2016||No||iOS 12|
|iPhone 6S / 6S Plus||Sep 25, 2015||Sep 12, 2018||Yes – Until 2022||iOS 15|
|iPhone SE (1st generation)||Mar 31, 2016||Sep 12, 2018||Yes – Until 2022||iOS 15|
|iPhone 7 / 7 Plus||Sep 16, 2016||Sep 10, 2019||Yes – Until 2022||iOS 15|
|iPhone 8 / 8 Plus||Sep 22, 2017||Apr 15, 2020||Yes – Until 2023||iOS 16|
|iPhone X||Nov 3, 2017||Sep 12, 2018||Yes – Until 2023/4||iOS 16|
|iPhone XS / XS Max||Sep 21, 2018||Sep 10, 2019||Yes – Until 2025||iOS 16|
|iPhone XR||Oct 26, 2018||In production||Yes – Until 2025||iOS 16|
|iPhone 11||Sep 20, 2019||In production||Yes – Until 2026||iOS 16|
|iPhone 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max||Sep 20, 2019||Oct 13, 2020||Yes – Until 2026||iOS 16|
|iPhone SE (2nd generation)||Apr 24, 2020||In production||Yes – Until 2027||iOS 16|
|iPhone 12 / 12 Pro||Oct 23, 2020||In production||Yes – Until 2027||iOS 16|
|iPhone 12 Mini / 12 Pro Max||Nov 13, 2020||In production||Yes – Until 2027||iOS 16|
|iPhone 13 Series||Sep 24, 2021||In production||Yes – Until 2028||iOS 16|
|iPhone SE (3rd generation)||Mar 18, 2022||In production||Yes – Until 2028?||iOS 16|
As you can see in the table, Apple ensures compatibility with the latest iOS 16 for older models such as the iPhone 8/8 Plus, and iOS 15 compatibility for handsets as old as the iPhone 6S.
In addition, Apple is still pushing critical security updates on iOS 14 for supported devices, releasing occasional security updates. Other models become obsolete, and Apple’s official support ends there.
What are the obsolete and vintage iPhones?
When considering how long Apple supports older iPhone models, we must first read the company’s words. In this article, Apple states:
Owners of iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, or Apple TV products may obtain service and parts from Apple service providers, including Apple Retail Stores and Independent Repair Providers, for a minimum of 5 years from when Apple last distributed the product for sale.
You could extend this support up to seven years, depending on the availability of parts. Thus, obsolete iPhones are discontinued models with more than seven years in the market and are the following:
- iPhone (the first model from the good old days)
- iPhone 3G
- iPhone 3GS
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 4s
On the other hand, vintage iPhones are those that have not been sold for more than five years (but less than seven years):
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5C
- iPhone 6 Plus
It’s worth noting that 3G networks will shut down in the United States and will do in additional countries as the 5G revolution continues to grow. Some carriers will no longer offer 3G service, and some users with old devices may need to upgrade to a newer device to avoid losing connectivity.
How long will Apple support the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12?
The iPhone 11 will have support until 2026, seven years after its release date. Be aware that the iPhone 11 does not support 5G, but it can be a cheaper alternative for those who don’t mind having it for the short and mid-terms.
As for the iPhone 12, Apple’s support will last until 2027, this time with 5G connectivity.
In conclusion, we’ve seen that Apple’s support is exceptionally extended in time. Even if its products can be more expensive than their Android counterparts, the cost-benefit ratio of having up to seven years of support can ease customers’ minds and make it worth it.
We invite you to check out some of our iPhone deals on RefurbMe. Buying refurbished products is the best way to save money when purchasing a smartphone, boost the circular economy and get a completely functional device with a warranty. See you soon!