Which Devices Will iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 Support?

While there are as yet no concrete rumors related to which devices iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will support, the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this week may be an indication that as many as nine devices could be about to lose support for Apple's upcoming operating systems.

iOS 16 mock for article
iOS and iPadOS 13, 14, and 15 support all of the same devices, with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, seventh-generation iPod touch, iPad Air 2, fifth-generation iPad, iPad mini 4, and first-generation iPad Pro being the oldest supported iPhones and iPads.

While Apple could simply drop support for the oldest iPhones and iPads that still receive the latest updates, memory is likely to be a key deciding factor about which devices iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. When Apple introduced iOS 13, it dropped support for all devices with less than 2GB of memory. This wiped out support for a large number of A7- and A8-based devices, such as the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the first-generation iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and sixth-generation iPod touch. This is also why the iPad mini 4, which features 2GB of memory, has continued to be supported by iOS 13, 14, and 15, even though it has the A8 chip.

It seems plausible that if iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 require 3GB of memory, nine devices with the A9 and A10 Fusion chips could lose support. Even though the iPhone 7 Plus and seventh-generation iPad contain the A10 Fusion chip, both devices feature 3GB of memory, meaning that they are more likely to retain support when Apple next drops support for older devices.

There is also little evidence to suggest that Apple will support the seventh-generation iPod touch, an A10-based device with 2GB of memory, simply because it continued to sell it until now. Apple discontinued the sixth-generation iPod touch in May 2019 and it was excluded from receiving iOS 13, which was released just four months later. The company could repeat this pattern with the seventh-generation iPod touch, discontinuing it in May 2022 before excluding it from iOS 16 support just months later. Indeed, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that watchOS 9 will drop support for the Apple Watch Series 3 later this year, even though it is still on sale.

If Apple chooses to make 3GB of memory and the A10 chip or newer a requirement to run iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, the following devices could be supported:


iOS

  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

iPadOS

  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Air (5th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (9th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)
  • iPad Pro (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro (5th generation)

This would make the iPhone 7 Plus the oldest supported iPhone, and the third-generation iPad Air, seventh-generation iPad, fifth-generation iPad mini, and first-generation iPad Pro the oldest supported iPad models. That being said, Apple could look to avoid any confusion about why the iPhone 7 Plus is supported while the iPhone 7 is not by dropping support for both devices simultaneously, regardless of the iPhone 7 Plus's added memory. Moreover, the iPhone 8 also contains 2GB of memory, while the iPhone 8 Plus contains 3GB of memory, but neither of these devices are likely to lose support any time soon.

It is important to note that iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 could continue to support all of the same devices as iOS and iPadOS 13, 14, and 15. Nevertheless, it seems like just a matter of time before Apple drops support for some older devices, be it this year or next. When that does occur, it seems probable that only the above devices will retain support.

In line with previous years, Apple will introduce major updates to all of its operating systems at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 6, 2022. iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 9 are rumored to offer a large number of features and improvements, including enhanced notifications, car crash detection, a new multitasking interface for iPad, the Apple Classical app, and more.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16

Top Rated Comments

now i see it Avatar
14 weeks ago
I think most people have iOS update burnout and couldn’t care less about iOS 16 or beyond. They just want their phone to work, be bug free, and stop nagging them all the time.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EugW Avatar
14 weeks ago
No way they will drop support for the iPhone 7, despite its 2 GB RAM. It wasn't discontinued until 2019.
No way they will drop support for the iPad 6th gen, despite its 2 GB RAM. It wasn't discontinued until 2019.
No way they will drop support for the iPad mini 4, despite its 2 GB RAM. It wasn't discontinued until 2019.

EDIT:

Truthfully, I’m not convinced about the iPad mini 4. I’m sure iOS/iPadOS 16 will keep the iPhone 7 and iPad 6th gen though.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
14 weeks ago
I'm surprised we have not seen any major leaks of iOS 16 and iPad OS 16. WWDC is right around the corner. We will find out soon.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kiranmk2 Avatar
14 weeks ago
the iPhone 8 also had only 2 GB memory (8+ and X released the same year had 3 GB)
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeatCrazy Avatar
14 weeks ago
There won't be a disparity between support for the 7 vs. 7 Plus.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lordofthereef Avatar
14 weeks ago
6S series had a solid F'in run. Seven years is better than some computers and gaming consoles lol. I still maintain its the best phone Apple made, in terms of longevity. Of course, that can be dethroned here as newer models age. If seven years becomes the norm, I am certainly not complaining.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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