When Apple releases iOS 11 this fall, it will, as it has in the past, drop support for some of its older hardware to permanently lock them into 2016's operating system.
More pressing, some four-year-old devices will not be able to preview iOS 11 this summer, again because of lack of support. (Apple released the public beta of iOS 11 earlier this week.
Here's the line-up of devices iOS 11 will run on:
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (launched 2016)
- iPhone SE (2016)
- iPhone 6S and 6S Plus (2015)
- iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (2104)
- iPhone 5S (2013)
- 12.9-in. iPad Pro (2015-2017)
- 10.5-in. iPad Pro (2017)
- iPad, 5th generation (2017)
- 9.7-in. iPad Pro (2016)
- iPad Air and iPad Air 2 (2013-2015)
- iPad Mini 2 and 3 and 4 (2013-2015)
Apple pared the list for last year's 2016 by three devices, dropping the iPhone 5 (2012) and the proud-to-be-plastic iPhone 5C (2013), as well as the fourth-generation iPad (2012).
New to iOS support for version 11, of course, are those devices launched at or after iOS 10's September 2016 debut, including the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, 2017's fifth-generation iPad, and the year's two new iPad Pro models, one with a 10.5-in. screen, the other with the 12.9-in. display. New iPhones, which the company will almost certainly introduce in September will, of course, also run iOS 11.
This will mark the second straight year that Apple has scratched one or more devices from iOS's run list after breaking with tradition in 2015. That year's iOS 9 retained support for the same iPhones and iPads that had been able to run 2014's iOS 8. In 2016, Apple tossed out the iPhone 4S (2011), the iPad 2 (2011), the third-generation iPad (2012) and the original iPad Mini (also 2012), leaving them stranded on iOS 9.
When devices miss the iOS cut, they continue working as before; they do not suddenly go dark. However, once they've been put into Apple's version of suspended-OS animation, they acquire no new functionality and stop receiving security updates.