Will My iPhone Run iOS 16?



Apple is dropping support for several older iPhones this year. Here’s what iPhones will run iOS 16…


Wondering “will my iPhone run iOS 16?” Read on…

iOS 16 is packed with new features that iPhone fans are going to love. The headline iOS 16 feature is the redesigned lock screen. Not only is it redesigned, but it’s highly customizable – and you can even set up multiple lock screens to match your mood or workflow.

Then, of course, iOS 16 adds some long-requested features to the Messages app, like the ability to edit and unsend already sent messages. And that’s just for starters. iOS 16 also offers Live Text improvements, enhanced dictation, multistop routing in Maps, and much much more.

Apple has already released a developer preview of iOS 16, and the company is on track to release a public preview of iOS 16 in July. These should be followed by more betas until the gold master release of iOS 16 launches this fall – mid-September is the likely commercial release date.

But there’s some bad news for people who own older iPhones–depending on how old your iPhone is, it may not run iOS 16. Here’s what you need to know…

Will My iPhone Run iOS 16?
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Which iPhones Will Run iOS 16?

Apple has announced which iPhones will run iOS 16. Sadly, just because your iPhone runs iOS 15, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to upgrade it to iOS 16 this fall. Apple made some harsh cuts to the iOS 16 compatibility list.

Here are the iPhones that Apple says will run iOS 16:

  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • iPhone Xr
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

Now, as you can see, that list is quite long. As a matter of fact, it shows Apple will support iOS 16 on iPhones going all the way back to the 2017 launch models (the iPhone 8 series and iPhone X). That means iPhones that launched 5 years ago will STILL get the latest iOS update – that’s a much better update longevity factor than most flagship Android phones get.

However, Apple did make some cuts this year. Last year when Apple announced iOS 15, it shocked many by saying iOS 15 will run on the iPhone 6s and later. The iPhone 6s was released in 2015 – meaning even though it was six years old, Apple still supported it with iOS 15.

But this year Apple not only cut the iPhone 6s series from iOS 16 support, it also cut the iPhone 7 series, which came out in 2016.

Why Won’t The iPhone 6s & iPhone 7 Run iOS 16?

So what many people who still own the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 probably want to know is why won’t their phones be able to run iOS 16?

Apple hasn’t given an official explanation for this, but it likely comes down to the rapid advancements of iOS and the fact that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 use pretty archaic CPUs by today’s standards.

iOS has frequently introduced features in recent years that rely on machine learning (artificial intelligence). Those features are very CPU-intensive. This includes features like Live Text and more. 

The iPhone 6s uses the A9 processor and the iPhone 7 uses the A10 Fusion. Those processors just likely don’t have the power to support the ever-increasing advancements of iOS – at least not to the high standards Apple holds.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X both feature the A11 Bionic chipset that is between 25% and 70% faster than the A10.

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.

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