With WWDC 2022 kicking off on Monday (June 6), it’s very likely that we’ll get our first look at a new version of iOS that will launch alongside the iPhone 14 in the fall.
While iOS 16 rumors are a bit weak on the ground at the moment, the rumored iOS 16 features suggest we’ll be looking at improvements to the lock screen, notifications, some AR/VR integration, and more health tracking capabilities.
But every iteration of iOS requires more processing cost, which inevitably some phones should miss. Apple has a very strong track record of supporting phones in the long run – iOS 15 supports phones that debuted in 2015 for example – but there are limits. With that in mind, we think the following iPhones will be limited to iOS 15 for the rest of their working lives.
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, practically the oldest in terms of smartphones, were launched in September 2015 when Barack Obama was still in the White House, there was no such thing as AirPods and the first generation Apple Watch was only six months old.
These two phones launched with iOS 9 and were discontinued nearly four years ago, so the end of support shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The iPhone 6s family has been doing very well already.
iPhone SE (2016)
Despite being seven months younger than the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the original iPhone SE actually used the same Apple A9 chipset and 2GB of RAM.
In other words, if the 6s are gone, so is the first generation SE. But the good news is that the two latest versions should be safe for quite some time, given those versions of the iPhone SE launched in 2020 and this year, respectively. The iPhone SE 2022 also features the same A15 Bionic processor that powers Apple’s more expensive iPhone 13 lineup, so it will be supported for some time.
What iPhones will get iOS 16?
If these were really the only three iPhones that missed out on the iOS 16 upgrade, then through the cancellation process, these would all be eligible:
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
- iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone SE (2020)
- iPhone XS and XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (2022)
- iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max
If your iPhone is eligible to download iOS 16, Apple should feel confident in its usability. But if you own an older model, we suggest you shop for one of the best iPhones to replace your current phone or decide if it makes sense to wait for the iPhone 14 this fall.
What about iPads?
While iPads technically use a different operating system – iPadOS – it’s pretty close to iOS and almost certainly will be upgraded this fall to iPadOS 16. With iPadOS 15, support has gone even further than iOS 15 with the old iPad Air 2 from 2014 eligible for the upgrade. .
This time we suspect that many tablets will not work. Not only is the iPad Air 2 missing, but we’re also betting that the 5th generation iPad, 4th generation iPad mini, and possibly even the original 2015 iPad Pro might be too slow to achieve.
We’ll likely find out if all of these assumptions are true at next week’s Apple Developer Conference. Here’s how to watch WWDC 2022 if you want to tune in to the live stream.