iPhone 6S, SE (1st Gen) and 7 won't be supported by iOS 16

iPhone 7 Plus lineup
(Image credit: Apple)

After nearly seven years of software updates, Apple is putting the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus and first generation iPhone SE out to pasture when iOS 16 launches this Autumn. Apple launched the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in 2015 as its pair of flagship devices, bringing features such as 3D Touch and the ever-stylish Rose Gold (definitely not pink) colour option to the iPhone. 

It spawned a spin-off in the form of the first generation iPhone SE, which took the guts of the iPhone 6S and the body of the iPhone 5S to form a more compact iPhone that didn’t compromise on power. The SE line is still going strong today, with the 2020 iPhone SE and 2022 spec bump carrying on the spirit of the original SE. 

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are also being cut loose by Apple after almost six years of software support. The iPhone 7 launched to some controversy after dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack in a move that Apple called “brave” and everyone else called “irritating”. However, the iPhone 7 Plus did sport the first dual camera system on an Apple smartphone, as well as water resistance and the static home button that utilised haptic feedback to simulate a click.

This means that the iPhone 6S, SE and 7 won’t enjoy the new features that iOS 16 will have to offer, including customisable lock screens, shared iCloud photo libraries, iMessage editing and undo sending, customisable spatial audio and Apple Pay’s new pay later scheme. 

If you’re using one of these devices then it may be time to upgrade, but fear not if you want to hang on to your iPhone for now, as it will still work perfectly fine on iOS 15 for the foreseeable future. However if you are looking for a new iPhone, rumours of this year’s 14 series are heating up with a reveal expected in September.


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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.

  • Friesiansam
    This is a much better situation than you will likely see with Android phones. iPhones get the latest version of IOS for at least 5 years, whilst most Android phones only get the latest version of the OS for 2 or 3 years.