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How long do iPhones get support for new iOS updates?

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Apple’s iPhone line is known for a couple of things — one of them is their great after-sales support.

The iPhone series are known for their seamless hardware and software incorporation, integration with the Apple ecosystem, and of course, well, their expensive price tag. But we get all that together with Apple’s renowned after-sales support.

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After getting a new iPhone, and even when a brand new one already comes out, Apple is not done with you yet. Your device is still subject to tons of security patches and big iOS updates for years to come.

But how long does Apple supports older iPhones? 5 years. Or at least, that’s the average. The first iPhones only got 3 to 4 major updates, the 2010 and later models got about 5, while the newer ones were lucky to get 6 updates. All these major updates arrive at Q4 of every year, along with the release of new iPhones.

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Image: Statista

But why do older iPhones lose support for iOS updates? Why can’t just Apple keep supporting all these devices? Well, the easy answer is hardware compatibility issues.

As technology advances, every new update comes with upgraded features that requires a more powerful and modern hardware — something that older iPhones may no longer qualify for after 5 years.

Although, the newer updates have become more efficient that they still work on older iPhones. In fact, the newest iOS 14 is compatible with devices from the new iPhone 11 series up to the iPhone 6s from 2015.

The newer models, and the upcoming iPhone 12 series, should be powerful enough to have support for five more major iOS updates that are coming in the next five years — or if we’re lucky enough, maybe even more.

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