iOS 17 may drop support for the iPhone 8 and first-gen iPad Pros

Apple's iPhone and iPad support is much longer than most Android firms', but even Apple has to stop sometime

Google iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets
(Image credit: Google)

One of the things I like about my iPhone and iPads is that Apple gives them the kind of software support even the best Android phones can only dream of: if you have an iPhone 8 or iPhone X you can run the latest version of iOS, even though those phones came out in 2017.

Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and it looks like Apple's operating system support for those phones, and the first generation 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, is ending this year. According to MacRumors, iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 won't be coming to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, first-gen 9.7 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the fifth generation iPad. 

We can't really complain, as some of these devices have been around since 2015. But it does mean that it'd be wise to plan an upgrade this year if you weren't already intending to.

Why it's wise to upgrade your iPhone or iPad

Your devices won't suddenly stop working when iOS 17 ships. But increasingly you'll find that new or updated apps won't be available to you, and the risk of security problems increases.

That doesn't mean you should panic. Some of the banking apps I use daily are available for older iPhones and iPads going back to iOS 12, which means you can still use them on the iPhone 5S. And you won't need iOS 17 to continue using most of the apps you already have. But it does mean you'll miss out on any of the fun new features of the next Apple OSes.

So what are your options here? You don't necessarily have to rush out and buy the iPhone 15 when it ships or wait for the next iPad Pro. There are some really good iPhone 13 deals right now, but iPhone 12 deals are even cheaper. The difference between those phones and an iPhone 8 or iPhone XI is incredible. 

Don't forget the iPhone SE (2022) either, which is cheaper than both. It looks very much like the iPhone 8 on the outside but inside it's a very modern smartphone.

As for the iPad Pro, I downgraded to the iPad Air and don't regret it: the 2022 iPad Air is a fantastic tablet, albeit lacking the sheer size of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro. There are deals to be had on both models of iPad Pro but unless you really need that bigger screen I'd strongly recommend looking for iPad Air deals instead. The difference between it and the Pro for the vast majority of tasks is very slight.

If you're not in a hurry it'd be wise to hang on, though. Amazon's having another Prime Day in July – on 12 July, to be precise – and you'll probably see some good deals on Apple kit around then, and of course if Apple launches any new iPads this year we'll see the price of existing ones plummet. That applies to iPhones too: if you can hang on until September (and there's no reason not to – iOS 17 won't ship until then) you'll see all the existing iPhones drop in price when the iPhone 15 launches.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (