Apple Still Offers Security Updates to Devices That Are Almost 10 Years Old
Apple’s software support has been and continues to be one of the best on the market. In January 2023, the company continued to cement its legacy of prolonged software support by seeding out security updates to older devices going far back as the iPhone 5s, released in 2013.
The security update also includes older Macs and iPads released in the same year. That’s almost a decade of software updates, which you can’t really expect from other phone manufacturers today.
Apple Rolls Out Security Updates for Older Devices
Apple’s January 2023 security update is unique as it focuses on older iOS, iPadOS, and macOS versions running on outdated hardware. These older versions include iOS 12.5.7, iOS 15.7.3, iPadOS 15.7.3, macOS Big Sur 11.7.3, and macOS Monterey 12.6.3.
The security update is available for iPhones, iPads, and Macs that came out in 2013 and later. The list of compatible iOS/iPadOS devices includes the iPhone 5s, 6, 6s, 7, iPhone SE (1st generation), and a slew of old iPad models. So, if one of your phones is on the list, update your iPhone as soon as possible.
Likewise, for Macs, Apple’s security patch goes as far back as covering the 2013 MacBook Air, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro models.
How Does Apple Compare to Other Brands in Software Support?
Comparing Android and iOS devices, Apple wins all the time. As of this writing, one of the best companies for Android updates is Samsung, with a promise of four major updates and five years of security updates. In the second spot is Google promising at least three major Android updates and up to five years of Android security updates.
In comparison, Apple typically offers five to six major updates followed by two to three years of security updates. But just when we thought Android was catching up, Apple stepped it up and rolled out security updates for devices that are roughly a decade old.
For Macs, Apple seeds out seven years of macOS updates on average, plus two extra years of security-only updates. This is according to a report by Ars Technica, which compiled data on Apple’s macOS updates for Macs released from 1998 to 2016.
The report data doesn’t cover Macs released in 2017 and later since they are still eligible for macOS updates as of January 2023.
In the world of Windows PCs, things are messy since Microsoft dictates what’s compatible and what’s not. Manufacturers have no control over Windows updates whatsoever. Plus, unlike Apple, Microsoft doesn’t release major Windows updates yearly.
However, if we borrow some notes from Windows 7, 8, and 10 software support, 10 years is the standard for PC software updates. Believe it or not, that’s better than Apple’s average of nine years, although slightly. However, there are other reasons why people love buying MacBooks and Macs.
You Don’t Need to Upgrade to the Latest Apple Device That Often
With better software support, you don’t need to get the latest iPhone, iPad, or MacBook as soon as they launch. In fact, you don’t even have to upgrade every two to three years.
You can safely hold on to your Apple devices for at least five years without missing out on new software features and security updates. And this is one of the reasons many customers don’t mind paying the premium for Apple products.