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iOS 16 might drop support for iPhone 6s and more old Apple devices

Published Dec 20th, 2021 1:45PM EST
iOS 16 concepts imagines what the next iPhone update will look like.
Image: the Hacker 34

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Apple released iOS 15.2 to the public last Monday. The update included a number of important bug fixes, as well as new features like the Apple Music Voice Plan, App Privacy Report, and Digital Legacy. Days later, Apple rolled out the first iOS 15.3 beta. One of the best things about iOS 15 is the fact that it supports all of the same devices that iOS 14 did. Apple didn’t force users to upgrade to gain access to all of the new features present in iOS 15. Unfortunately, a report suggests that neither iOS 16 nor iPadOS 16 will support quite as many iPhone and iPad models.

iOS 16 won’t support iPhone 6s or lower

Apple’s iPhone 6s in a variety of colors. Image source: Apple

According to the French blog iPhoneSoft, Apple will finally add to its list of unsupported iPhone and iPad models in 2022. For the past three years, this list has stayed static. Apple hasn’t stopped offering updates for old iPhone models since the release of iOS 12 in 2018. iOS 13, iOS 14, and iOS 15 all supported the same list of devices. Of course, this trend was never going to last forever. iPhoneSoft claims Apple will stop releasing new versions of iOS for devices using A9/A9X chips or older starting next year. This includes the iPhone 6s series, the 1st-gen iPhone SE, and several old iPads.

Here are the iPhone and iPad models Apple will continue to support with iOS 16 and iPadOS 16:

  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad (7th generation), iPad (6th generation), iPad mini (5th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation)

And here are the models that will reportedly be unable to upgrade to iOS 16 and iPadOS 16:

  • iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad (5th generation)

When will Apple announce iOS 16?

As 9to5Mac notes, iPhoneSoft correctly predicted the list of compatible devices for iOS 13 and iOS 14. The site missed last year when it claimed Apple would end support for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone SE (first-gen). As notable as it is that Apple has continued to seed updates for four-, five-, and six-year-old phones and tablets, the hardware can’t keep up with the software forever.

It was only a matter of time before the updates stopped. Nevertheless, Apple continues to release occasional updates for older devices. Just over a month after launching iOS 15, Apple released iOS 14.8.1 and iPadOS 14.8.1. These minor updates ensure that Apple can continue to fix bugs and patch vulnerabilities.

Regardless of whether or not iPhoneSoft is right, we’re going to have to wait a while to find out. Apple announces the latest version of iOS at WWDC every summer. Providing it sticks to that schedule in 2022, we can expect to hear more about iOS 16 next June. In the meantime, update to iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 for important new additions.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.