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iPhone iPhone 6: Apple still provide iOS 12 Security Updates?

Dezlboy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 10, 2008
234
58
iOS 13 is limited to iPhone 6s and newer. Will Apple provide security updates to iPhones limited to iOS 12? If not, how concerned should one be? FWIW: Holding off purchase until (rumored) "cheap" iPhone SE (?) in Spring.

A search came up with old threads from the Spring, with varying replies....so "reposted" similar question.....thanks.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,573
18,885
The key word is "typically." It has happened occasionally, for both Mac and iOS. It's a matter of the seriousness of the threat that's been uncovered.
Yes, there's certainly possiblity of something like that. In case of iOS at least it's more along the lines of "rarely" I'd say than "occasionally".
 
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Freakonomics101

macrumors 68030
Nov 6, 2014
2,661
1,728
If Apple notices something of concern, it will be addressed. Support has come to a stop but just like what happened with iOS 10 and 9 a bit ago, could receive an update for security issues. Small chance, but still.
 

MrUNIMOG

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
638
414
Hamburg, Germany
If Apple notices something of concern, it will be addressed. Support has come to a stop but just like what happened with iOS 10 and 9 a bit ago, could receive an update for security issues. Small chance, but still.

I think in the past when that happened, it usually was to fix functionality issues (like GPS/time recently with iOS 9.3.5 and 10.3.4) rather than security issues.
Security flaws don't stop a device from working properly, those usually aren't fixed after a new iOS release is out, unlike macOS.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,810
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Yes, there's certainly possiblity of something like that. In case of iOS at least it's more along the lines of "rarely" I'd say than "occasionally".

Since "rare" and "occasionally" are not mutually exclusive (and neither can be pinned down to a specific quantity), you could say "Upon rare occasion" and I wouldn't quibble.

I'm sure we would also find agreement on the statement, "It could happen, but I wouldn't count on it."

To a large degree, this comes down to a basic truth; those seeking to find exploits tend to focus on the large, relatively under-exploited targets. For the most part an older OS ceases to be a target, and the newer features of a new OS receive the most scrutiny.

When Mac OS was around 2% of the installed desktop user base, it didn't get a whole lot of hacker/researcher attention. Now that it's closer to 10%, it gets much more attention. (And the much larger distribution of iOS has tended to make all Apple products a bigger target for researchers.) Once a new version of an OS has passed through a full year of active scrutiny, updates, and patches, for the most part the need to make further patches is diminished. However, when a serious exploit is encountered that affects multiple generations of the OS... security updates are still pushed out.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,573
18,885
Since "rare" and "occasionally" are not mutually exclusive (and neither can be pinned down to a specific quantity), you could say "Upon rare occasion" and I wouldn't quibble.

I'm sure we would also find agreement on the statement, "It could happen, but I wouldn't count on it."

To a large degree, this comes down to a basic truth; those seeking to find exploits tend to focus on the large, relatively under-exploited targets. For the most part an older OS ceases to be a target, and the newer features of a new OS receive the most scrutiny.

When Mac OS was around 2% of the installed desktop user base, it didn't get a whole lot of hacker/researcher attention. Now that it's closer to 10%, it gets much more attention. (And the much larger distribution of iOS has tended to make all Apple products a bigger target for researchers.) Once a new version of an OS has passed through a full year of active scrutiny, updates, and patches, for the most part the need to make further patches is diminished. However, when a serious exploit is encountered that affects multiple generations of the OS... security updates are still pushed out.
Sure, one can fit in with the other, like a “few” can be part of “some”. That said, each one conveys a particular sense of the word that makes a difference.
[automerge]1569090391[/automerge]
I'm sure we would also find agreement on the statement, "It could happen, but I wouldn't count on it."
Sure, that would be another way of conveying it.
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68030
Feb 14, 2004
2,633
8,807
OBJECTIVE reality
Basic question, but I’ve downgraded back to 12.4.1. To do that I had to download an IPSW file to install.

Let’s say I try to give iOS 13 another chance in the future. Even if I keep that IPSW file, after Apple stops signing that release I won’t be able to downgrade again, will I?
 

Lubidubi

macrumors member
Apr 16, 2015
31
8
What a nice surprise, that Apple still provides security updates for iOS 12 on iPhone 6 & 5s.
Hopefully this becomes the new standard and they provide updates at least till iOS 14 is out.
 
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WingsAndBeer

Cancelled
May 24, 2019
136
192
What a nice surprise, that Apple still provides security updates for iOS 12 on iPhone 6 & 5s.
Hopefully this becomes the new standard and they provide updates at least till iOS 14 is out.

They don't. Not sure where in this 2 month old post you read that.
 

MrUNIMOG

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
638
414
Hamburg, Germany
They don't. Not sure where in this 2 month old post you read that.

That's what this thread was about, no?

After the release of iOS 13, there have been not only one but two security updates released for iOS 12.
The latest one, iOS 12.4.3, being released over a month after iOS 13 had come out.

This is without precedent (there of course have been "legacy" updates for older iOS versions before, but only to prevent functionality from breaking, those weren't security patches), so it's reasonable to express hope Apple might continue this new practice.
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
10,038
3,786
And there's not end in sight yet it seems... Today iOS 12.4.4 has been released.
12.4.4 only contains one security fix. Unfortunately, the way Apple writes security notes, we don't know if the other issues fixed in 13.3 don't apply to 12.4.x, or if they do apply and are left unfixed.
 
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MrUNIMOG

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
638
414
Hamburg, Germany
Yet another one, 12.4.5 is out, same day as iOS 13.3.1.

Seems like Apple indeed is changing their policy. Won't complain!
Will be interesting to see how long they keep this up for iOS 12 and whether they'll do the same for iOS 13 (given 14 even drops support for any device at all).
 
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