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 (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

profets Avatar
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 months ago
A brand new product can't "drop support" of something it never had.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnyb098 Avatar
15 months ago
Ok well then time to upgrade people. Those are 7+ year old devices.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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