Older iPhones only get new iOS updates for a certain amount of time before Apple decides to put them out to sea, and a report has suggested which devices could sail out into the sunset when iOS 16 launches later this year.
This comes from a site called iDropNews (opens in new tab), in a report written by a leaker called AppleLeaksPro with a limited track record. Take the information with a pinch of salt, due to the source, but what's stated does make sense given Apple's habits.
Apparently, iOS 16 won't be compatible with three iPhones that did receive iOS 15: those are the
iPhone 6s, iPhone 6S Plus and the original iPhone SE. These devices are from 2015, 2015 and 2016 respectively so they are pretty old.
Apple drops support for older iPhones with new builds of iOS because the older hardware simply doesn't have the power or space for the newer operating system, and it's something that happens in the Android space too. That's not to say Apple will completely forget about these phones, as they still could see the odd security update, and they'll work just fine as they are - you don't really need the newest software.
This is just a leak for now, so it's not to say that these mobiles have definitely been sunsetted by Apple. But AppleLeaksPro's limited track record does seem fairly accurate.
That's the only real solid information provided by this leak - the leaker also backs up their past assertions about super-widgets, and points to a few tweaks like a redesigned music app and changes to Quick Actions so they work when the phone is locked.
Analysis: no need to buy a new iPhone
If you own one of the aforementioned iPhones, we're going to make the bold assumption that you're not a technophile - you'd probably have a newer phone if that were the case.
If that's true, this news might not affect you that much. If you don't care about having the flashiest and newest stuff, whether that's new gadgets or software, you don't really need iOS 16.
This new version of Apple's software isn't exactly likely to set to set the world on fire, as it's probably just going to bring a few tweaks and changes that might not affect your phone experience at all. If your device works fine right now, it'll continue to do so.
That's especially the case because Apple will likely continue to provide security updates to these devices for a while, which should stop bad actors from being able to leverage the age of your tech to infiltrate it better.
Sure, if you've got a six-plus-year-old phone, you might want to check out our list of the best iPhones at some point, because tech doesn't last forever. But if you're happy with your phone right now, you don't really need to update it.