Sorry, But Your iPhone 5 Is About to Become Obsolete

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Apple’s pulling the cord on its iOS guillotine a little early this year. The next operating system update will only be available for the iPhone 5S and newer devices. That means if you have an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 5C, your expensive slab of aluminium and glass is about to become obsolete.

This will be the first time that Apple has cut off updates for a device mid-cycle. It’s unclear why Tim Cook and his cronies aren’t waiting until iPhone day to begin the iPhone 5's slow death, but there are some hardware limitations involved. You see, iOS 10.3.2—an otherwise minor update, now in beta testing, that features some bug fixes and some new Siri commands—is only supported on devices with a 64-bit processor. The iPhone 5 and 5C have a 32-bit processor. So those phones won’t be eligible for the update when Apple rolls it out to all users in a few weeks, and those phones probably won’t see an iOS update ever again.

Put down your pitchforks for now, iPhone 5 loyalists. In recent years, Apple has made it very clear that it will eventually stop supporting those devices, presumably encouraging customers to buy a newer iPhone. It’s happened a few times before. We also knew that iOS 11, set to be released this autumn, would only support 64-bit devices and probably wouldn’t support the iPhone 5 or 5C.

Again, we have no idea why Apple decided to move the 64-bit requirement up six months. Maybe it wants to sell more iPhone 7s before the rumoured Tenth Anniversary Edition (a.k.a. the iPhone X) gets announced in September. Maybe there’s some technical reason for the early iPhone murder-death-kill. Maybe Tim Cook is just fucking with us. Or maybe it’s time you finally made the jump to a newer iPhone, before your old iPhone 5 explodes on an aeroplane. Probably not that, actually. iPhone 6s and 7s explode, too.


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