Every time Apple brings out a new version of its iOS, owners of older iPhones and iPads are put on notice—some won’t get the slick new software tricks engineers whipped up.
With the release this week of iOS 10 and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, we reviewed all of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, to see how long each was able to refresh the software. The perception is that Apple drops support for older products, to encourage new sales. In fact, the company is supporting more of its products longer. (Maybe that’s bad news if you’re fishing for reasons to ditch your iPhone 6.)
DAYS UNTIL IOS CUTOFF
The big winner was the iPad 2, which launched in spring 2011 running iOS 5. Apple continued selling the tablet for three years, and it was compatible with fresh iOS versions even longer. Though Apple hasn’t sold the iPad 2 since 2014, its 2,013-day run of current-iOS compatibility ended this month with iOS 10’s debut.
The longest-running iPhones thus far? The iPhone 4s, which also just got bumped, and the iPhone 5, which continues its run with iOS 10.
But the first-generation iPhone and iPad lost iOS upgrade eligibility and support far sooner, as did the iPhone 3G.
While every new iOS version strands a few devices, the overall number of models supported is rising. That number peaked at iOS 9, which supported 20 iPhones and iPads. With iOS 10, Apple appears to have cleaned house: The software works with 18 iPhones and iPads, but not on any device that doesn’t have the Lightning charging port.
IOS ELIGIBILITY BY DEVICE
||iPhone OS 1JUNE 29, 2007||iPhone OS 2JULY 11, 2008||iPhone OS 3JUNE 17, 2009||iOS 4JUNE 21, 2010||iOS 5OCT. 12, 2011||iOS 6SEPT. 19, 2012||iOS 7SEPT. 18, 2013||iOS 8SEPT. 17, 2014||iOS 9SEPT. 16, 2015||iOS 10SEPT. 13, 2016|
|iPad 3rd gen.|
|iPad 4th gen.|
|iPad Mini 2|
|iPhone 6 Plus|
|iPad Mini 3|
|iPad Air 2|
|iPad Mini 4|
|iPhone 6s Plus|
|iPad Pro 12.9|
|iPad Pro 9.7|
|iPhone 7 Plus|