Apple is one of the top brands within the global smartphone industry, its high status being owed to a series of qualities such as sleek design, cutting-edge functionalities and vigorous marketing. However, another factor that has contributed to its popularity among smartphone users resides in the company’s constant software updates.
To illustrate how long Apple supports older iPhone models, we have created a simple visual summary of the software updates the technology giant has offered for all major iPhone models to date.
With the introduction of every new iPhone model, Apple guarantees upwards of four years of major iOS updates to the customers that buy the newly-launched device. According to data sourced by Statista, this interval has only gone up for the latest released iPhones.
Looking at Apple’s ‘genealogy’, one can confirm and trace this trend back to the iPhone 4s. Starting with its release, every major subsequent model has received at least five important iOS updates before being cut off. So it’s the case with the iPhone 6, the most recent Apple smartphone to be deprived of the yearly updates with iOS 13.
If we compare the number of updates iOS and Android devices get during their lifetime, the former have a clear upper hand over the latter, which have reached three updates at most. This ascendancy is noticeable even in the distribution numbers, with Android’s latest version being installed in only 10.4% of devices as opposed to a crushing 87% of iPhones with the last major iOS software upgrade.
Not only do these constant updates enable the older models to benefit from the latest features Apple offers to the newer devices, but they also add to the product’s value retention. This is why many owners hold on to iPhones for so long. Let’s take iPhone 6s users, for instance, who got to enjoy Apple’s 2019 extension for the iOS13 update all the way back to devices released in 2015. In other words, they were granted an “extra lease” and they don’t care much if they are cut off next year. After 5 years of upgrades, it is acceptable to move on to a new smartphone which is likely to see a similar lengthy lifespan of updates.
Of course software upgrade frequency is not the only criterion to be considered before buying a smartphone. However, for those prospects who care for this aspect, Apple has definitely got an ace up its sleeve.
The History of Software Updates for All iPhone Models to Date was built with the intuitive PowerPoint add-in called Office Timeline. It is designed to enable the creation of simple yet stylish timelines, Gantt charts and other types of chronology graphics in a hassle-free manner. The slide is free to copy and share, and can be updated and further styled using the Plus version of the tool.