Have you ever noticed that Apple has dropped software support for even more devices every year recently? That wasn’t always the case.
For instance, macOS 10.15 Catalina supported all Macs that were capable of running the previous version, macOS 10.14 Mojave. However, since macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple has dropped support for older Macs every year. Even the upcoming macOS 14 Sonoma will exclude support for many Macs introduced in 2017.
Moving on to iOS, for a while, Apple waited a few years before they drop support on older devices when they introduce the next major version of iOS. For example, iOS 15 supported all iOS 13-compatible devices. Then, iOS 16 dropped support for the 7th generation iPod touch and A9/A10-based iPhone models, and this year, iOS 17 dropped support for A11-based iPhones (iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X).
Even iPadOS 15 supported all iPadOS 13-compatible devices. However, iPadOS 16 dropped support for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini, and iPadOS 17 dropped further support for the 5th generation iPad and the original iPad Pro.
Now, is this streak of dropping support for older devices every year going to be a big deal for customers? In my opinion, it’s not that bad overall. If you take a look at Android devices, you’d get fewer years of software support compared to iOS because Android is much more fragmented whereas iOS is certainly optimized to work with iPhone since Apple has done a phenomenal job of making the hardware and software work together. For instance, the iPhone 6S, introduced in 2015, went through seven major versions of iOS with the last version being iOS 15 (2021). Plus, devices that won’t support the next major release will most likely get a few extra years of security updates to keep your devices secure. The iPhone 5s, introduced in 2013, even got a security update early this year, which was unprecedented. That way, you’d have more time to save money to buy a more modern device that will be capable of running the latest features.
Apple wants its customers to enjoy the latest features, but Apple doesn’t want to give customers a bad experience at the same time. If an older device were to run the next version, it could lead to weaker performance or even worse battery life because of the hardware limitations back then. All in all, exceptional software support for all Apple devices and the tight integration between the hardware and software are what make these devices worth every penny, and there are several models for every device category at every price point that will satisfy many customers.