Apple will drop support for older iPhones. What does it mean for you?

Apple is about to cut off support to these three iPhone models – here’s what it means if you own one

  • iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and older won’t be eligible for iOS 17 updates
  • But any iPhone capable of running iOS 12 will still get Apple’s security patches 
  • READ MORE: Update your iPhone NOW! Apple releases urgent security fix – here is how to install Rapid Security Response update iOS 16.5.1 (c) onto your phone

Apple is gearing up to launch its new iOS 17 this September, which will be chock-full of new features to the iPhone — but the update will be leaving some iPhone owners behind if they have older devices.

The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and even 2017’s iPhone X will not support the upcoming operating system, and tech experts have warned users that their models’ resale values are likely to be cut in half by the news.

Owners of these devices will have to prepare to face rapidly declining compatibility with newer versions of their favorite third-party apps.

But there’s no immediate cause for alarm, if you can’t afford to upgrade to a newer iPhone or simply are still quite happy with the one you’ve got. 

Apple will continue to offer security updates and patches for all iPhones running operating systems back to iOS 12 or newer – for at least two years.

Back when they were new, these were the shiny latest iPhone models in 2017: the iPhone X (center), the iPhone 8 (right) and iPhone 8 Plus (left)

One new iOS 17 feature that aims to make life easier is ‘NameDrop’ which lets users easily share contact information by tapping their device with someone else’s. But as with many iOS 17 features, the perk is only available for devices that have the A12 Bionic chip or newer hardware

Today, the trade-in value for a mint condition iPhone X (pictured) is around $190. Above, much more cash is counted at an Apple store in Hong Kong as a customer buys two iPhone Xs back in November 3, 2017 when the brand new phone had a starting price of a whopping $999

This past January, in fact, Apple issued a security update for iOS 12 that helped protect the decade-old iPhone 5s and the 6th generation iPod touch, which debuted in 2015.

But that doesn’t mean life with an older iPhone will be a cakewalk or perfectly safe.

Here’s what else to be mindful of, if you plan to frugally stretch the life of your Apple device well into its golden years.

Members of the Reddit community devoted to the iPhone X advise that users are likely to get at least one to two more years of mileage out of their devices, before app upgrades start to lose them functionality and security. 

‘iPhone X owners will get apps support mostly until 2025/6, and that’s when some things won’t work,’ one user notes. ‘Still a few more years of being frugal.’

The issue is that, as Apple moves from iOS 17 to the inevitable iOS 18 and later, many app makers will plan to roll out software updates of their own designed benefit from the latest iPhone models’ hardware capabilities.

And there are a handful of features that simply won’t work unless you have an iPhone 12 or newer, including 3D FaceTime reactions, improved autocorrect, and text predictions. 

READ MORE: Your iPhone will soon alert you if you’re holding your device too close to your face

The tool, called Screen Distance, will monitor where your iPhone is in relation to your face and alert you if it’s too close.

For these many of these new features to work, the iPhone needs to have an A12 Bionic chip or later, which is the iPhone XS and up. 

Even some Accessibility features, like the new dictation feature that punctuates as you speak — or Live Captions, which adds captions to live content like video calls — require the A12 or later. 

Another big feature that Apple has promised for iOS 16 is the ability to easily lift an object or a person from an image in your photo roll and paste them elsewhere, essentially turning them into stickers. 

In time, many social media apps will want to better integrate these features into their own user experience — benefits that will only accrue to owners of the latest Apple devices. 

WhatsApp users will want to pluck their friends faces for stickers, for example. Or Instagram users may want to add captions to their video Stories.  

Relying on older and older versions of third-party apps could, in time, lead to some security vulnerabilities for iPhone X and iPhone 8 users, but for the truly security-obsessed there are plenty of more reasons to upgrade. 

The new updates with iOS 17 promise a raft of new security features, including improvements to Safari Private Browsing and Apple’s child safety protections.

And, as Apple announced at its WWDC 2023 conference in June, the new iOS 17 will help automate messages to friends and loved ones that you have arrived home or at your chosen destination safely.

The feature will sit within the Messages app, according to an Apple representative. 

‘After a user initiates a Check In, their friend or family member will automatically be notified as soon as the user arrives.’ 

‘If they are not making progress toward their destination, useful information will be temporarily shared with the selected contact, such as the device’s location, battery level, and cell service status,’ the company said.

For even more security, Apple confirmed that any information shared by Check In is end-to-end encrypted, so only you and your trusted contacts can see when you’ve reached your destination.

With all these security benefits, someone concerned with personal safety over price may want to consider upgrading well before their old iPhone starts have compatibility and upgrade issues.  

If you want to split the difference and upgrade to something slightly cheaper, here’s the full rundown of iOS 17 supported devices from oldest to newest:

  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 and 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 and 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd gen)

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