Is your iPhone or iPad now considered "obsolete"?

Apple considers these devices defunct – is your's one of them?

Old iPhones on yellow background
(Image credit: James Lewis / Unsplash)
Quick Summary

Apple has added a new batch of devices to its "vintage" and "obsolete" lists, including the iPad mini 4 and iPhone 6.

That means it no longer technically supports them them with official replacement parts or software updates.

You might not have realised it, but Apple maintains a public list of the devices it no longer supports, putting them in a couple of quaint categories. 

The two labels it gives to older products are "vintage" and the blunter "obsolete", and it's just added some new (old) devices to both lists. 

According to Apple's own wording: "Products are considered vintage when Apple stopped distributing them for sale more than five and less than seven years ago."

Well, that's a label that recently started to apply to the iPad Mini 4, which as a result can now be found on the vintage list. 

By contrast, Apple says that devices are obsolete "when Apple stopped distributing them for sale more than 7 years ago". 

That, in turn, now applies to the iPhone 6 Plus, meaning it's on that list, too – although interestingly the standard iPhone 6 remains merely vintage.

This is because the standard iPhone 6 remained on sale for a little longer than its plus-sized equivalent, becoming a lower-cost alternative that remained fairly popular for a while, as happens to most mainline iPhones. 

These devices uniformly haven't had any software support for years now, meaning they're stuck on older versions of iOS and iPadOS, so anyone still using them doubtless wouldn't be surprised to learn they're on the way out. 

Still, it's a useful reminder that you can always check the status of Apple's own list of now-defunct products to see what's on there. 

Of course, this does also have an actual practical outcome – the list lets you know whether your device will be able to be officially serviced and repaired, regardless of warranty, as it determines whether Apple still keeps the parts and processes in question up to date.

So, if you're an iPhone 6 Plus user, as unlikely as that might be, you might now need to go to a third-party repair shop after reaching out to Apple, since your phone is now on the chopping block. 

A phone becoming harder to repair is never good news, although you probably do have to waive the outrage when the model in question is nearly a decade old.

Maybe it's time to look for a new iPhone or iPad instead.

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.