Nothing lasts forever, including your iPhone. Every year, as Apple introduces a new lineup of the iPhone, there’s a growing list of aging models that the company designates as old and obsolete.
Per the company’s support page, Apple has two classifications for old products that are headed to their inevitable end. The first is vintage products, or products that Apple stopped selling more than five years. As of 2022, the iPhones that reached vintage status are the following:
- iPhone 4 (8 GB)
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5C
- iPhone 6 Plus
Apple still honors repair requests for vintage iPhones, but note that support may be limited and depend on available supply.
The second classification is obsolete products. These are the ones that Apple stopped selling more than seven years ago, or two years after they entered the vintage phase. The remaining fourth-generation iPhone variants, along with older iPhones all the way to the original, are considered obsolete.
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In terms of servicing obsolete products, you won’t get any from Apple. The company also no longer supplies parts to authorized service providers. Other than utmost care and handling, there’s not much else you can do to extend the life of your aging iPhone without Apple’s continued support.
On the plus side, seven years of hardware support is a lengthy period and considerably longer than what you get from competition. In comparison, Android smartphones are on average supported between two to five years, depending on the brand and model.
As for software, the iPhone has a planned end of life too. Apple recommends all compatible iPhones to upgrade to the latest iOS 15 to get the latest features. Models that can’t upgrade and are stuck with older iOS versions no longer receive updates for fixing bugs and security vulnerabilities. On average, iPhones receive iOS updates for up to five years.