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Here’s How Long Apple Has Supported Old iPhones

Lots of people like to buy old iPhones because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing them to utilize truly cutting edge phones for a surprisingly cheap price. But with all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Apple often renders old iPhones obsolete with operating system upgrades. What’s more is that the company stops supporting older models after a certain point.

With the new release of iOS 15, many are wondering how long it will be before they can no longer use their old iPhones. Looking at data for how long Apple supported a particular phone can help make this sort of thing clearer with all things having been considered and taken into account.

The first iPhone was supported for three years, and this trend continued for the iPhone 3G as well. The next two iterations, namely the 3GS and the iPhone 4, were supported for four years. Except for the iPhone 5C and recent models that haven’t been around for too long, all iPhones in the post iPhone 4 era were supported for at least five years starting with the iPhone 4S. The iPhones 5, 5S and 6 were all supported for 5 years as well, but something interesting is happening with the iPhone 6S that might give the owners of old iPhones a bit of hope.


Apple has been heavily criticized for its planned obsolescence, essentially making phones obsolete with a new software update. This is probably a big part of the reason why the iPhone 6S is still being supported 7 whole years after its release. Indeed, the last phone that Apple suspended support for was the iPhone 6 years ago, and even though people have been anticipating the 6S becoming obsolete as well, nothing of the sort has happened as of yet.

That doesn’t mean that the iPhone 6S will be supported perpetually. At a certain point the phone won’t be able to handle increasingly advanced software. But since the 6S is compatible with iOS 15, it has set a precedent that old iPhones will be supported for at least years and perhaps longer based on when Apple suspends support for the 6S. All models released after the 6S are, of course, still fully supported by Apple at this current point in time.

H/T: Statista.
Read next: Apple to Get Significant Share of 2021 5G Shipments Thanks to the iPhone 13

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