Apple Reveals Its iPhone Gets at Least 5 Years of Security Updates

We now know the minimum amount of years you can expect Apple to support iPhones with software updates.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
2 min read
The iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Apple has long supported prior iPhone models with software updates, even phones that are several years old. The latest software, iOS 17, first came out last year and works on devices dating back to 2018's iPhone XR and XS lines

While it was always assumed older models would get some updates, an exact timeline wasn't ever given. Until now. Thanks to new regulation in the UK, it has been made known that Apple will support security updates for a minimum of five years. 

The detail was spotted by Android Authority, which noticed that Apple filed a compliance statement for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The filing was in response to a new law called the UK Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (Product Security) regime. The order went into effect at the end of April and requires that manufacturers "and their products meet the relevant minimum security requirements." 

Since iPhones connect to the internet, Apple is required to comply, and as such filed a statement of compliance that shared the promise of a defined support period of at least five years. The support period starts from the first supply date, which in the case of the iPhone 15 Pro Max was Sept. 22, 2023. 

Five years seems to be Apple's sweet spot for new software updates for older devices, though it has sometimes gone a bit further. The iPhone 6S came out in 2015 and shipped with iOS 9 but received regular software updates through iOS 15, which came out in 2021. It even got a security update in 2023, which meant it got nearly eight years of security updates. 

Although Apple has led the way in support for years compared to Android rivals, if it does stick with just five years then it would actually fall behind similar pledges from Google, Samsung and others. With its latest S24 series of phones, Samsung now promises seven years of security and major software updates, something Google also started offering with its Pixel 8 line of phones last year.  

Apple is expected to detail its next big software update, rumored to be called iOS 18, next week at its annual WWDC event