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Apple allegedly plans to drop support of the iPhone 6s and SE (1st Generation) with iOS 15

Summary

It looks like the last headphone jack iPhones are being sent out to pasture next year with the iOS 15 release. The Verifier reports that iOS 15 will only support iPhones 7 and newer. Sad day for iPhone users everywhere.

 

Although it is important to note that dropping iOS support on a major branch ≠ no support at all. For instance, the A6 chipset (locked at iOS 10) got the iOS update 10.3.4 in 2019, despite the iOS version and the chip being discontinued 2 years prior. Something similar also occurred with the A7 and A8, where a security update to iOS 12 was released in 2020, despite it being 2 years out of date.

 

Quotes

Quote
  • iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE may no longer be supported with the launch of iOS 15 next year
  • An iPhone 7 or newer will likely be required to run the next major version of iOS

 

My thoughts

I find this a shame. Unless Apple is planning to do something radical with iOS 15, there's really no point in removing these devices. The A9 is still powerful enough to be a daily-driver phone. I still have my iPhone SE from 2016, and it's running perfectly usable on iOS 14. But, I assume this decision came down to two things. RAM, and the SOC itself. While both 6s models and the SE only have 2GB of RAM, the 7 Plus has 3GB, which is still poor by today's standards, but remember a jump from 2 to 3 is much more substantial than a jump from 3 to 4. Also, the A10 chip, which premiered with the iPhone 7, was the first Apple designed SOC to implement big.LITTLE. Maybe idle power usage was just too high on the A9, so they decided to kill it? I'm really just grasping at straws though, since the A10 "Fusion" could only use the high or low performance cores, unlike the A11 "Bionic" which could use both at the same time.

 

Either way, goodbye to one of the best generations of iPhone.

 

Sources

iOS 15 to support iPhone 7 and newer - AppleTrack

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As much as I hate Apple, there is nothing really wrong here. The 6s will be going on, what, 5 years of support? Or is it 6 in 2021? Either way, Apple delivered on their 5 years of support for the 6s so to me, this is meaningless. I say all this as someone who owns a 6s.

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8 minutes ago, NotTheFirstDaniel said:

I find this a shame. Unless Apple is planning to do something radical with iOS 15, there's really no point in removing these devices.

I think it is pretty much standard for iOS devices to receive at least five to six generation updates which I think started with the iPhone 5s, not just security patches which is a lot better than any Android OEM including the Pixel phones.

 

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iPhone 6s: iOS 9-iOS 14 (6 major updates)

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I’d be willing to bet this also includes A8 iPad Mini 4 with 2GB RAM and A8X iPad Air 2.

 

May also include A9X based first gen iPad Pro.

 

Edit: Now that I think about it, what would stop Apple from also putting A8 powered Apple TV HD out to pasture?

 

They could also discontinue it and replace TV HD with an A10 based chip although that seems a bit inconsequential of an update so perhaps an A12 might do better.

 

Which would then inevitably lead to A12Z being used in a future Apple TV 4K.

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28 minutes ago, TempestCatto said:

Snip

Yep i completely agree, i have a Note 5 which lost support maybe 2 years ago, and i will likely upgrade next year, so I would have had to own a phone with 3 years without support out of the 6 years of owning it, which is not great, especially since i have missed out on major security and new features, i especially miss OS level dark mode, but yeah an iPhone user doesn't go through this and in a normal phone update cycle of about 5 years, their users are guaranteed use, which even now isn't assured for android 

 

also i love the note line, but the new 10 and 11 are a bit too expensive, even though i can get the note 9 i am buying a phone which will lose updates soon, so it sucks for android a bit more

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43 minutes ago, NotTheFirstDaniel said:

there's really no point in removing these devices

there's also really no point in continously updating a phone... it's not getting faster, its not getting any meaningful new features (smartphone features have stalled since years) and it also doesn't get "more secure" 

 

 

Though there is in fact a point, and that's manufacturers wanting customers to move on and buy new devices, after 5(?) years of meaningless "support" they aren't charity and champagne and caviar isn't exactly cheap either, please understand. ~

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2 hours ago, dilpickle said:

You're whining about getting 6 years of support on a cell phone?

 

And how is this even news? Products are dropped literally every year.

Yeah, 6 years is definitely plenty long for support of a smartphone, and it's not like you're completely in the dark in terms of security. If it's something that could be risky, they will patch older devices. And, it's not like Apple is locking you out of the device. 

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To blame Apple for that is meaningless. They supported those for 6 years, as an android user I see maximum of 2 and the 2nd update will me many months after the official android version release date. 

Also drop support doesn't mean brick your smartphone, you just don't have security patches and new tricks (am I right on that?)

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10 minutes ago, Spindel said:

It's funny that when Apple drops support for an old iPhone it becomes news

Dude we ve been waiting for 6 years on the Android world to make fun of it, you won't take it from us!

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21 minutes ago, PeachGr said:

Also drop support doesn't mean brick your smartphone, you just don't have security patches and new tricks (am I right on that?)

Apple will occasionally release security patches that are deemed critical vulnerabilities like kernel bugs. Just recently, they released a security patch that includes the iPhone 5s.

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211940

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3 hours ago, dilpickle said:

You're whining about getting 6 years of support on a cell phone?

 

And how is this even news? Products are dropped literally every year.

 

 

When I said "there's really no point in removing these devices" I meant that they still show a little bit of legroom and could go for a year more. It's not like it's an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S which are quite literally unusable on their last supported OS. But my OP wasn't about "whining" about how they're losing support, it was mostly wondering/speculating why they got axed.

 

And I believe this is news because A) almost everyone knows someone still rocking an iPhone 6S to this day, and B) we should be congratulating companies that support their products past the initial sale and warranty, or in other words, do the bare minimum. The fact that 2 years of support isn't even a guarantee for some Android phones is just terrible, and cases like the one that just popped up, where almost 34% of Google Play users won't be able to navigate Let's Encrypt secured websites past 2021, reinforce how awful Google's update policies are and how they could actually affect people in the real world. But companies like Samsung have actually started to commit to OS upgrades as a direct response to this discussion. So, the more we talk about how well Apple's done in this regard, the more OEMs will listen to this and take it in. 

 

I personally believe that silence is conformity, and that the only thing that can change something is your voice. I highly doubt both Microsoft and Samsung would commit to 3 years of support across their Android devices if it weren't for people talking about this, and making this a huge argument. So yes, in this case, the dropping of the products in question is the news.

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3 hours ago, Mark Kaine said:

there's also really no point in continously updating a phone... it's not getting faster, its not getting any meaningful new features (smartphone features have stalled since years) and it also doesn't get "more secure" 

 

 

Though there is in fact a point, and that's manufacturers wanting customers to move on and buy new devices, after 5(?) years of meaningless "support" they aren't charity and champagne and caviar isn't exactly cheap either, please understand. ~

Phones are absolutely faster than they were 5 years ago by a factor of like 4.5x for the iPhone 6S vs 12. There’s miles of difference in camera and screen quality as well.

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i have a 6s and i don't mind. i still got twice the support length of the best case scenario on Android. and 6x the usual support length on Android.

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I can't say this is remotely surprising, nor bad news. Having used one side by side with my Xs, it's time for these devices to go

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6 hours ago, like_ooh_ahh said:

I think it is pretty much standard for iOS devices to receive at least five to six generation updates which I think started with the iPhone 5s, not just security patches which is a lot better than any Android OEM including the Pixel phones.

 

iPhone 5s: iOS 7-iOS 12

 

Yeah. I still use a 5s, and literaly just now as I went to check what OS it ended on, I have a notification for an OS update (12.4.9).  So, while the the new stuff doesn't come, I'm still getting fixes and security updates 2 or 3 years after it was discontinued.

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My 6s+ served me very well up until I replaced it with a 12 Pro Max this year. Farewell A9! 

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9 hours ago, TempestCatto said:

As much as I hate Apple, there is nothing really wrong here. The 6s will be going on, what, 5 years of support? Or is it 6 in 2021? Either way, Apple delivered on their 5 years of support for the 6s so to me, this is meaningless. I say all this as someone who owns a 6s.

Would be like 6, you could argue 2016-2021

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Still got 2 6s devices kicking around. Remarkable how well they've aged, I use one as a work phone and the other as my webcam.

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I mean, six years of support is pretty damn good. You will have a hard time to get even half of that on most Android phones. 

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We live in a world where people supplement want as a need and need to have the next best thing and companies keep profiting off of the bell curve for intelligence, which most people fall into are not clever enough to realize that they don't need a new phone even after the support drop.

 

 

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