Third-Generation AirPods Require iOS 13, Drop Support for Older iPhones, iPads, and iPods

The new third-generation AirPods drop support for older iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch models previously supported by the second-generation AirPods.

Apple AirPods 3rd gen lifestyle 01 10182021 big
According to Apple's specifications page for the new AirPods, the third-generation AirPods do not support the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the iPhone 5s. They also drop support for the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 alongside the sixth-generation iPod touch. Apple’s footnotes for the new AirPods‌ explain why, stating that some of the features require iOS 13, which none of the above-listed devices support.

Some features require iOS 13 or iPadOS, which are not compatible with iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPod touch (6th generation), iPad Air (1st generation), iPad mini 3, and iPad mini 2. Audio Sharing not supported.

The new third-generation AirPods are being offered alongside the second-generation AirPods, as well as the higher-end AirPods Pro. The new AirPods are available for pre-order today and will begin shipping next week.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

profets Avatar
8 months ago

Aren't Airpods able to be regular Bluetooth headphones? If so, shouldn't you be able to use them with any iPhone going all the way back to 2007? You'd think that would be the case since you can use them with Android phones and Windows PCs too.

Apple would have had to put specific code in the AirPods to break pairing with older iOS versions.
This is true, and its mentioned in the footnotes on Apple's site:

"AirPods can be used as Bluetooth headphones with Apple devices using earlier software and with non-Apple devices, but functionality is limited."
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
teknikal90 Avatar
8 months ago

Still don’t get it… what should make me buy these ones instead of the pros?

the pros are mostly cheaper already (got my ones new for 160$ last year), they offer ANC, they‘re „Pro“. Why should someone get the regular 3er series?
Not everyone wants the silicone tips
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
8 months ago
Aren't Airpods able to be regular Bluetooth headphones? If so, shouldn't you be able to use them with any iPhone going all the way back to 2007? You'd think that would be the case since you can use them with Android phones and Windows PCs too.

Apple would have had to put specific code in the AirPods to break pairing with older iOS versions.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eltoslightfoot Avatar
8 months ago

Still don’t get it… what should make me buy these ones instead of the pros?

the pros are mostly cheaper already (got my ones new for 160$ last year), they offer ANC, they‘re „Pro“. Why should someone get the regular 3er series?
There are those of us that can't stand the plugged up feeling that silicone tips give us.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Joe Mac User Avatar
8 months ago
A brand new product can't "drop support" of something it never had.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnyb098 Avatar
8 months ago
Ok well then time to upgrade people. Those are 7+ year old devices.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

AirPods Gen 3 Feature

Kuo: Third-Generation AirPods to be Announced During 'California Streaming' Apple Event

Sunday September 12, 2021 6:40 am PDT by
Apple will announce its third-generation AirPods, featuring a new design similar to the AirPods Pro but lacking in "Pro" features during its "California streaming" Apple event on Tuesday, September 14, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo envisions two possible scenarios for how Apple treats the AirPods lineup following the launch of the new...
airpods lineup 2021

AirPods 3 Available to Order Today for $179 and Launch October 26

Monday October 18, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the third-generation AirPods are available to order starting today, with pricing set at $179 in the United States. Apple also said the second-generation AirPods with a wired charging case are remaining available for $129, down from $159. The third-generation AirPods will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores on Tuesday, October 26, according to Apple. ...
10

Redesigned AirPods Expected to be Announced During Monday's 'Unleashed' Apple Event

Wednesday October 13, 2021 2:02 am PDT by
After their lack of appearance at Apple's September event, updated third-generation AirPods can be expected to be unveiled during next week's "Unleashed" Mac-focused event, according to a leaker. Rumors had initially indicated that the new AirPods would ship alongside the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 announcement last month, but the new earphones failed to materialize. AirPods are best ...
airpods 3 magsafe case

AirPods 3 Unboxing Videos and Reviews Shared Ahead of Tomorrow's Launch

Monday October 25, 2021 9:02 am PDT by
Apple's embargo on reviews of the third-generation AirPods has now lifted ahead of its launch tomorrow, giving the first hands-on looks at the company's latest earbuds. In addition to our review roundup, we have gathered together a number of unboxing videos and reviews of the new AirPods. The key new features of the third-generation AirPods include improved sound quality, a new design with...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
airpods 3

Third-Gen AirPods Offer Only 5 Hours' Listening Time With Spatial Audio Enabled

Tuesday October 19, 2021 2:50 am PDT by
Apple on Monday announced third-generation AirPods, featuring an updated design, improved sound quality, and an extra hour of battery life compared to the second-generation AirPods, which offer five hours of listening time. However, what Apple didn't make very explicit in its marketing is that to get six hours out of its latest earphones, spatial audio must be disabled. As noted in Apple's fi...
airpods 3 gizmochina%403x

Next-Generation AirPods Reportedly Already in Production Despite Not Being Announced at Apple Event

Wednesday September 15, 2021 7:05 am PDT by
While third-generation AirPods were not announced at the Apple Event this week, suppliers have already kicked off shipments of the long-awaited headphones, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese website DigiTimes. In a paywalled preview of its report, DigiTimes said the shipments have been "slow," but production being underway is a good sign that the third-generation AirPods will...
airpods 3 5

New AirPods Expected Later This Year as Suppliers Begin Component Shipments

Wednesday June 23, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
At least seven Apple suppliers have reportedly kicked off circuit board-related shipments for upcoming Apple products, and this notably includes third-generation AirPods, which are expected to be released later this year. "Suppliers including Semco, LG Innotek, Kinsus, Unimicron, Nan Ya, Zhen Ding and AT&S have all kicked off their BT substrate shipments for Apple's next-generation products...

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...