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While there are as yet no concrete rumors related to which devices iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will support, the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this week may be an indication that as many as nine devices could be about to lose support for Apple's upcoming operating systems.

iOS-16-mock-for-article.jpg

iOS and iPadOS 13, 14, and 15 support all of the same devices, with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, seventh-generation iPod touch, iPad Air 2, fifth-generation iPad, iPad mini 4, and first-generation iPad Pro being the oldest supported iPhones and iPads.

While Apple could simply drop support for the oldest iPhones and iPads that still receive the latest updates, memory is likely to be a key deciding factor about which devices iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. When Apple introduced iOS 13, it dropped support for all devices with less than 2GB of memory. This wiped out support for a large number of A7- and A8-based devices, such as the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the first-generation iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and sixth-generation iPod touch. This is also why the iPad mini 4, which features 2GB of memory, has continued to be supported by iOS 13, 14, and 15, even though it has the A8 chip.

It seems plausible that if iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 require 3GB of memory, nine devices with the A9 and A10 Fusion chips could lose support. Even though the iPhone 7 Plus and seventh-generation iPad contain the A10 Fusion chip, both devices feature 3GB of memory, meaning that they are more likely to retain support when Apple next drops support for older devices.


There is also little evidence to suggest that Apple will support the seventh-generation iPod touch, an A10-based device with 2GB of memory, simply because it continued to sell it until now. Apple discontinued the sixth-generation iPod touch in May 2019 and it was excluded from receiving iOS 13, which was released just four months later. The company could repeat this pattern with the seventh-generation iPod touch, discontinuing it in May 2022 before excluding it from iOS 16 support just months later. Indeed, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that watchOS 9 will drop support for the Apple Watch Series 3 later this year, even though it is still on sale.

If Apple chooses to make 3GB of memory and the A10 chip or newer a requirement to run iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, the following devices could be supported:


iOS
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

iPadOS
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Air (5th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (9th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)
  • iPad Pro (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro (5th generation)


This would make the iPhone 7 Plus the oldest supported iPhone, and the third-generation iPad Air, seventh-generation iPad, fifth-generation iPad mini, and first-generation iPad Pro the oldest supported iPad models. That being said, Apple could look to avoid any confusion about why the iPhone 7 Plus is supported while the iPhone 7 is not by dropping support for both devices simultaneously, regardless of the iPhone 7 Plus's added memory. Moreover, the iPhone 8 also contains 2GB of memory, while the iPhone 8 Plus contains 3GB of memory, but neither of these devices are likely to lose support any time soon.

It is important to note that iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 could continue to support all of the same devices as iOS and iPadOS 13, 14, and 15. Nevertheless, it seems like just a matter of time before Apple drops support for some older devices, be it this year or next. When that does occur, it seems probable that only the above devices will retain support.

In line with previous years, Apple will introduce major updates to all of its operating systems at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 6, 2022. iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 9 are rumored to offer a large number of features and improvements, including enhanced notifications, car crash detection, a new multitasking interface for iPad, the Apple Classical app, and more.

Article Link: Which Devices Will iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 Support?
 
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EugW

macrumors G4
Jun 18, 2017
11,277
8,665
No way they will drop support for the iPhone 7, despite its 2 GB RAM. It wasn't discontinued until 2019.
No way they will drop support for the iPad 6th gen, despite its 2 GB RAM. It wasn't discontinued until 2019.
No way they will drop support for the iPad mini 4, despite its 2 GB RAM. It wasn't discontinued until 2019.

EDIT:

Truthfully, I’m not convinced about the iPad mini 4. I’m sure iOS/iPadOS 16 will keep the iPhone 7 and iPad 6th gen though.
 
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I think most people have iOS update burnout and couldn’t care less about iOS 16 or beyond. They just want their phone to work, be bug free, and stop nagging them all the time.
You might be right. Many people seem to not care anymore as long it works, they are happy with it. Also, CSAM had a big impact on all this too.

 

Apple$

macrumors regular
May 21, 2021
154
301
Along with poor sales, it is possible the iPod Touch was discontinued right before WWDC if it is not going to be supported with future iOS versions.
Yup, I remember when Apple discontinued the 4th generation iTouch, while releasing a cheaper no rear camera 5th generation iTouch back in summer of 2013. They stopped supporting the 4th generation iTouch past iOS 6 after the discontinuation.
 

EugW

macrumors G4
Jun 18, 2017
11,277
8,665
My iPhone 7+ is still very responsive on iOS 15 so if that's the last version I get I'm fine with that. I can't really remember any memorable changes to iOS since around 12 or so that's affected my own daily needs.
I would expect the iPhone 7 Plus to get iOS 16 and probably iOS 17 too.
 
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kiranmk2

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2008
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838
To be honest I think they will do another carryover year so anything that support iOS15 will get iOS16 and then next year drop support for anything that doesn't have A12 or above due to the ML cores in the A12. iOS15 already disables many features for A11 and earlier devices.
 

AppleTO

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2018
392
756
Toronto, Canada
Yup, I remember when Apple discontinued the 4th generation iTouch, while releasing a cheaper no rear camera 5th generation iTouch back in summerof 2013. They stopped supporting the 4th generation iTouch immediately after the discontinuation.
I remember being so annoyed at that time when my 4th gen touch didn't support iOS 7, but the iPhone 4 did. Probably dodged a bullet there. Lol
 
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mtrm

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2013
66
155
Portugal
I honestly have a hard time believing they’d drop the iPhone 7 and keep the 7 plus. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Apple never officially announces the RAM on the iPhones, so it would be kind of weird how they would justify dropping the 7 and not the 7 plus based on an officially undisclosed specification. It would make more sense doing it based on what chip the device uses.
 
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commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,036
129
I wonder what will happen with the 4th gen Apple TV? It's still being sold and as an appliance you'd expect it to have a long support lifecycle. The continued support of the 4th gen Apple TV with it's A8 and 2GB of RAM and the commonality between tvOS and iOS/iPadOS is likely part of the reason why other A8 devices with 2GB of RAM, namely the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 4, have hung around so long. If Apple continues to support the still selling 4th gen Apple TV in tvOS 16, they may be willing to continue putting in the incremental work needed to support the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 4 in iPadOS, which means no devices will be dropped.
 
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EugW

macrumors G4
Jun 18, 2017
11,277
8,665
To be honest I think they will do another carryover year so anything that support iOS15 will get iOS16 and then next year drop support for anything that doesn't have A12 or above due to the ML cores in the A12. iOS15 already disables many features for A11 and earlier devices.
No. A lot of A10 devices will continue to be supported in iOS 17, based on Apple's previous support practices.

I honestly have a hard time believing they’d drop the iPhone 7 and keep the 7 plus. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Apple never officially announces the RAM on the iPhones, so it would be kind of weird how they would justify dropping the 7 and not the 7 plus based on an officially undisclosed specification. It would make more sense doing it based on what chip the device uses.
IMO, MacRumors just dropped the ball on this article.
 

EugW

macrumors G4
Jun 18, 2017
11,277
8,665
6S series had a solid F'in run. Seven years is better than some computers and gaming consoles lol. I still maintain its the best phone Apple made, in terms of longevity. Of course, that can be dethroned here as newer models age. If seven years becomes the norm, I am certainly not complaining.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the iPhone 6s get iOS 16 too.

Typically, it's not just how old the device is. It's also very dependent on when it became unavailable for sale new. (iPod touch doesn't count.)
 
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Aaron44126

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2008
12
49
Suspecting that they'll just drop the A9 phones (6S, 6S Plus, and original SE), A8 iPads (Air 2 and Mini 4), and be done with it. Maybe the iPod Touch as well (who still uses that?). I don't think that they'll want to split up a line (i.e. support 7 Plus, but not 7). For watches, Series 3 is the oldest supported, but they're still selling it...
 
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