At the start of the new year and with the release of iOS 15.2, Apple will begin to focus internally on the next major release, iOS 16.6s Plus and the original iPhone SE.
On the iPad side, iPadOS 16 is reportedly incompatible with iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad (fifth generation), and 2015 iPad Pro models.
Of course, nothing is official until Apple announces iOS 16 at WWDC 2022. However, iPhonesoft correctly reported the device matrix for iOS 13 and iOS 14 in advance. The post was incorrect last year when it claimed that the original iPhone 6s and SE would not be able to update to iOS 15. iOS 15 would continue to support all the same device models as iOS 14 .
Assuming iPhonesoft is correct with today’s reports, that would mean iOS 16 would require an A10 chip as the minimum spec to be able to get the latest features.
Still, that’s still an incredibly long lifespan of new features and bug fixes for Apple phones. The supposedly discontinued iPhone 6s and iPhone SE first launched in late 2015 and early 2016 respectively, which means they will have received over six years of regular software updates. The last device to be dropped from the software update roadmap is the iPad mini 4, and even that product will be over five years old by the time iOS 16 ships.
Apple also plans to continue supporting current and previous major versions of iOS with critical security patches, further extending the lifespan of older models. For example, at the moment, customers can choose to stick with iOS 14 rather than update to iOS 15. Assuming Apple delivers on its promises, iPhone 6s and iPhone customers SE will continue to receive iOS 15 security updates for several years after iOS 16 is released in Fall 2022.
It’s still too early in the rumor cycle to get an idea of what new features to expect from iOS 16. Credible rumors about upcoming iOS software features usually start surfacing in the spring.
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