iOS 16 will not make its way to iPhone models older than the iPhone 8, Apple has confirmed following the announcement of its new iOS version. It just means that if you have an iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, or the original iPhone SE, you won’t be able to experience iOS 16. Similarly, Apple quietly removed the Apple Watch Series 8 from the list of compatible Apple Watch models for watchOS 9. The new versions of iOS and watchOS – alongside iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura – will be available for testing in public betas in July and will be released as free software updates for eligible hardware later this year.
As mentioned on the iOS 16 Preview site, the new software is not compatible with the original iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE. The list of compatible models for the iOS 16 update instead starts with iPhone 8 and iPhone SE (2020). The iPhone 8, which debuted in 2017, is the oldest model on the list of eligible devices for iOS 16.
The iPhone 6s series was launched in 2015, while the iPhone 7 and iPhone SE models arrived in 2016.
However, despite being dated, all of these models received iOS 15 last year. This is unlike how various Android smartphone makers treat their existing users, as they often pull support for software updates for their older models. Nevertheless, companies such as Google and Samsung have started to make changes on this front by promising to sow software upgrades for up to four years and security updates for up to five years for their select models.
The list of devices that are not eligible to receive iOS 16 also includes iPod touch (7th generation) – the latest generation iPod. The iPod touch (7th generation) debuted relatively later in May 2019.
Similar to the iOS update, Apple confirmed on its website that the Apple Watch Series 3 will not receive the watchOS 9 update. The particular model was launched in 2017 and received watchOS 8 last year.
With Apple Watch Series 3 becoming ineligible for the update, Apple Watch Series 4 became the oldest model in the Apple Watch family to receive watchOS 9.
If you have one of the outdated Apple devices, the Cupertino company now forces you to upgrade to newer hardware to get the latest software experience. Nevertheless, Apple should continue to provide security updates to some of the devices that are not eligible to receive the latest software.
Separately, Apple announced during its WWDC 2022 keynote on Monday that public betas of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura will be available for testing in July. Exact release dates are yet to be revealed, however.
Before releasing the new software releases as public betas, Apple released its new iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS Ventura to developers who signed up for the Apple Developer Program. The company has brought the first developer preview of tvOS 9, without fanfare or spectacle.