If you’re running an iPhone, you might be wondering how long your iPhone will be supported? Here’s a breakdown of all of Apple’s iPhones and whether they still get iOS updates…
Apple is pretty good with support for its iPhone; most models tend to get 6-8 years of iOS updates which is way better than anything in the Android space. But because there are now so many iPhones in circulation, ranging from new models like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 to older models like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 6s. Basically, things can get confusing when it comes to iOS updates and how long your particular iPhone will get updates for.
Of course, older models are phased out after a while. Apple’s iOS updates scale with each new iteration. New features place new demands on your iPhone’s internal components. Once an iPhone gets too old, it can no longer adequately support iOS. This is when support stops.
With Apple’s modern iPhones, the iPhone 11, iPhone X, or iPhone 13, you will get at least six years’ worth of iOS updates. This is the average, although it could change, depending on features that Apple adds to iOS. But if you’re running something like the iPhone 12, you’ll likely be getting iOS updates until at least iOS 20 – maybe even iOS 21.
Similarly, the iPhone 11 will likely get iOS updates until iOS 19 or iOS 20; this assumes that iOS as a platform remains unchanged. A big shift in the technology it is based on, as Apple just did with its Macs, could change things for everybody. But this isn’t likely.
Will My iPhone Get The Next iOS Update?
Rather than list every single iPhone and answer whether or not they’ll get the next few versions of iOS, I’ve decided to put everything inside a table. This makes it easier to look at and appraise, and it takes up less room on the page.
Here’s a quick breakdown of ALL of Apple’s iPhone models and details about how long they’ll be supported for, whether they’re still active or discontinued, and when you can expect support for iOS updates to end. Please note: these are approximations based on Apple’s historical support metrics; things could change, handsets could get more or less. The table below is designed to give you a ball-park idea about how long your iPhone will be supported.
|iPhone 13 Series||24 Sep 2021||In Production||Yes – Until 2028|
|iPhone 12 Mini / 12 Pro Max||13 Nov 2020||In Production||Yes – Until 2027|
|iPhone 12 / 12 Pro||23 Oct 2020||In Production||Yes – Until 2027|
|iPhone SE (2nd generation)||24 Apr 2020||In Production||Yes – Until 2027|
|iPhone 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max||20 Sep 2019||13 Oct 2020||Yes – Until 2026|
|iPhone 11||20 Sep 2019||In Production||Yes – Until 2026|
|iPhone XR||26 Oct 2018||In Production||Yes – Until 2025|
|iPhone XS / XS Max||21 Sep 2018||10 Sep 2019||Yes – Until 2025|
|iPhone 8 / 8 Plus||22 Sep 2017||15 Apr 2020||Yes – Until 2023|
|iPhone X||12 Sep 2017||12 Sep 2018||Yes – Until 2023/4|
|iPhone 7 / 7 Plus||16 Sep 2016||10 Sep 2019||Yes – Until 2022|
|iPhone SE (1st generation)||31 Mar 2016||12 Sep 2018||Yes – Until 2022|
|iPhone 6S / 6S Plus||25 Sep 2015||12 Sep 2018||Yes – Until 2022|
|iPhone 6 / 6 Plus||25 Sep 2014||07 Sep 2016||No|
|iPhone 5S||20 Sep 2013||21 Mar 2016||No|
|iPhone 5C||20 Sep 2013||09 Sep 2015||No|
How Long Will iPhone 8 Be Supported?
The iPhone 8 first launched in 2017, alongside the iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will get iOS 15, although support for these models will likely end in 2023, following the release of the iPhone 15.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus could get support until 2024; this would be 7 years’ worth of iOS updates. And Apple has been known to support iPhones for this long. Plus, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are still really popular options with users.
Does this mean you should still buy the iPhone 8 Plus in 2021? Potentially. The iPhone 8 Plus is still a good phone. It has plenty of performance, excellent battery life, and a decent camera. The iPhone 8 Plus is now very cheap too, so it is ideal if you’re looking for a bargain.
Just be warned that, with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, you’ll potentially only get another couple of years’ worth of iOS updates.
What About The iPhone XR and iPhone XS?
The iPhone XR was Apple’s best-selling iPhone for three years straight. The phone was incredibly popular, outselling both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max by about a factor of three.
Because the iPhone XR and iPhone XS are fairly modern releases, they first hit the market in 2018, this means you’ll get quite a few years’ worth of iOS updates from Apple. How many? The iPhone XR and iPhone XS will likely get iOS support until at least 2025, making them a great option in 2021 if you’re after a cheaper iPhone that is still super functional.
How Long Will The iPhone 12 Get iOS Updates For?
The iPhone 12 is only 12 months old at the time of writing. This means, if you buy any of Apple’s iPhone 12 models in 2021 or 2022, you’ll receive iOS updates for years to come – potentially six or seven years’ worth, taking you into 2027 or 2028 at the latest.
And because Apple’s iPhone 13 range is now official, the price of Apple’s iPhone 12 range has gone down. Apple has also discontinued the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. For this reason, there are now plenty of really good deals available for Apple’s 2020 iPhones.
If you’re in the UK, Three has some outstanding offers for the iPhone 12 series – prices start from around £54 a month for the Pro Max model. And you get 5G and one of the best cameras ever. That’s great value, especially when compared to the cost of the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
iPhone 11 iOS Support – How Long Will It Get Updates?
Like the iPhone 12, Apple’s iPhone 11 range is still relatively new. This means if you bought any of the iPhone 11 models in 2021 or 2022, you’ll likely get iOS support well into the late-2020s, most likely around 2027 or 2028.
This makes the iPhone 11 – any of them, really – a great option for Apple fans that want to pick up a cheaper iPhone in 2021 or 2022. The iPhone 11 does not have support for 5G, however, so it is not quite a future-proofed as the iPhone 12.
If you’re not fussed about having 5G, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is now less than $500. Keep in mind that when the iPhone 11 Pro Max first launched it cost over double that much – around $1100. It’s still a killer phone, so if you’re not bothered about 5G, this is the one to go for.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.