Questionable Rumor Suggests iOS 13 Will Drop Compatibility for iPhone 5s Through iPhone 6s [Updated]
A questionable and unconfirmed rumor from Israeli site The Verifier suggests that Apple's iOS 13 update, expected to be previewed this summer at the Worldwide Developers Conference, will drop support for a number of iPhones and iPads.
As for iPads, The Verifier believes Apple will drop support for the iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, and possibly the iPad mini 4. The sixth-generation iPod touch is listed as a device that will also be incompatible with iOS 13.
If this rumor is true, and we don't know that it is because The Verifier did not provide details on where the information is from or how it was obtained, it would see Apple dropping support for three generations of iPhones at one time, a move that seems somewhat unlikely.
Apple aims to provide software updates for its iOS devices for as long as possible. Both iOS 12 and iOS 11 offered support for the iPhone 5s and newer, the iPad mini 2 and newer, and the iPad Air and newer. At the time iOS 12 launched, some of those devices were five years old.
Dropping support for everything up to the iPhone 7 would leave iOS 13 compatible only with iOS devices from 2016 or later. Two of those devices, the iPad mini 4 and the sixth-generation iPod touch, are current-generation devices, though they may not be by the time iOS 13 launches as updates for both are in the works.
To cast further doubt on the site's claims, it lists the iPhone 6s as a device that won't support iOS 13 without naming the fifth-generation iPad. Both the fifth-generation iPad and the iPhone 6s use the A9 chip.
The Verifier claims that in addition to dropping support for iOS 13 on a wide swath of devices, Apple will also restrict some iOS 13 features to newer models to "make as many users upgrade to the latest models of iPhones." While it's true there are sometimes iOS features limited to newer devices because of hardware limitations, Apple has a long history of supporting older devices for years after launch.
The Verifier has previously provided semi-accurate info on Apple's plans. In 2017, for example, the site said Apple would bring Group FaceTime to iOS 11. We did get Group FaceTime, but not until iOS 12.1 in 2018.
Update: The Verifier has updated the original article to list the lack of iOS 13 support for the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s as "questionable" rather than concrete.