It is rumored that with the release of iOS 17, some significant devices will drop off the supported list. If the past predicts the future, the following devices won’t get iOS 17 when it’s released later this year:
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPad (5th generation)
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro (1st generation)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st generation)
The iPhone X hits particularly hard. Its release seemed like a watershed moment for the iPhone. Apple claimed that the iPhone X was like no other iPhone, an anniversary edition, so to speak. It was a significant phone for Apple for a bunch of reasons. It had a brand new design, something that felt wildly different from previous iPhones, but it also called back to devices like the iPod with its polished side rails. The iPhone X was the first iPhone to have an edge-to-edge screen. It was also the first to have the beloved notch and FaceID, which is still the most “magical” smartphone security system any manufacturer has come up with to date. FaceID is now present throughout the operating system, unlocking apps, enabling Apple Pay, and many other features. Most importantly, it just worked. You looked at your phone, and it was unlocked. Nothing else had to happen.
Of course, the obsolescence of these devices is typical operating procedure for Apple. Last year, the iPhone 7 and other devices of the same vintage lost iOS update support, but Apple has continued to provide security updates to iOS 15. So the iPhone X and the rest of the list were in line to go this year. Maybe it feels different because the iPhone X seems like it didn’t come out that long ago, but it will be six years this year since it debuted.
Six years of software updates is still by far the best software support offered by any phone manufacturer, but for many, these devices still feel like they have a lot of life left in them. And they’re not wrong. With a fresh battery and some TLC, iPhones and iPads can last for many years.
It’s not likely that iOS 17 will introduce any features that will make the phones seem unusable, so iPhone X users can still count on security updates for a while and can still use the phone for the foreseeable future. Would Apple prefer you buy a shiny new iPhone 15? Of course, but just because they want you to doesn’t mean you have to.
What do you think? Will you mourn the obsolescence of the iPhone X and the other devices that won’t be updated this year? Is it possible Apple will be able to keep them going for another year of updates? Until Apple announces the definitive list, we’ll have to wait and see. The iPhone X does occupy a soft spot in my heart, so I’m a little bummed, but time marches on.