When people ask how long the iPhone will last, what they really mean is how long Apple has been supporting the iPhone through software updates. The answer will surprise you because Apple has been supporting its products for much longer than most other consumer electronics companies.
In fact, one of the best reasons to buy an iPhone is its durability.
For example, I have an iPhone 7 that was released five years ago in 2016, but it will still receive the latest iOS 15 software update. For comparison, I also have an Android phone from 2018, but its software is already out of date and cannot be updated. to the latest version.
So smartphones that usually last as long as iPhones are pretty remarkable, and that’s what sets Apple apart from the competition. In this article, we’ll take a look at an infographic that provides a clear understanding of the historical iPhone compatibility with iOS. Let’s check.
How long has Apple been providing iPhone updates?
It’s important to understand that Apple supports the iPhone in two ways: hardware and software.
Hardware support refers to the ability to repair your iPhone in the event of damage or other problems. Apple offers hardware support for five to seven years.
Maintaining the software through regular updates fixes any bugs and security flaws while ensuring uninterrupted operation. Apple has been offering software support for the iPhone for almost a decade now, and this is visually illustrated in the infographic below.
As you can see in the graph, Apple supported the first iPhone released in 2007 until 2010, and the iPhone 3G from 2008 until 2011.
With the release of the 2011 iPhone 4s, the duration of support has increased. The iPhone 4s could run operating systems up to iOS 9. It was last updated in 2019 when Apple released the last GPS-related update.
The iPhone 5c runs iOS 10, which also received a GPS-related update in July 2019.
Additionally, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 run iOS 12, which was last updated in July 2020. This update was targeted specifically for non-iOS 13 devices.
What are vintage and legacy iPhones?
When you consider how long Apple has supported older iPhones in terms of hardware, here’s what Apple has on its status website :
“Owners of an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, or Apple TV product may receive services and parts from Apple service providers, including Apple retail stores and independent repair service providers, for a minimum of 5 years from the last distribution of the Apple product for sale. ”
This support can last up to seven years, depending on the availability of parts.
So if your iPhone was still on sale by Apple until seven years ago, you could most likely fix it if you run into any issue. Here we need to take a look at Apple’s list of outdated and vintage iPhones.
Legacy iPhones are those that were discontinued by Apple more than seven years ago, so hardware service is no longer available. Here is a list of iPhones that will be obsolete in 2021:
- iPhone 3G and 3GS
- iPhone 4 CDMA and GSM
Likewise, vintage iPhones are those that haven’t sold in over five years (but less than seven years). Apple can still service these devices, provided it has access to the required parts. Here is a list of vintage iPhones from 2021:
- Iphone 4s
- iPhone 5
- Iphone 5c
So, Apple still fully supports the iPhone 5s (2013). What’s more, Apple can support iPhone 4s (2011) and iPhone 5 (2012) if it has access to the parts. This is great for smartphones released almost ten years ago!
What’s the oldest iPhone Apple supports?
The oldest phone supported by iOS 13 is the iPhone 6s, which also got iOS 14 and now the latest iOS 15.
It’s good to know that Apple supports the last three iOS versions for bug fixes and security updates. So you’re protected if your iPhone is running iOS 13 or newer. In terms of device models, these are iPhone 6s or newer.
How does Apple manage to launch its iPhones for so long?
Apple is the leader in the smartphone market because it makes customers happy. This is largely due to the extended support for all devices. Getting software and hardware updates on your smartphone within five to seven years is great, and Apple offers this to ensure that your iPhone (or other Apple device) will last you a long time.
It can cost more, but it pays off when you consider the years of product use. And when it finally comes time to upgrade or replace your device, you will most likely choose Apple again, thanks to the vast experience you have had.
That’s why Apple is doing its best to offer you great hardware and software upgrade deals over the years to keep your device in top working condition.