One model didn't even last four years.

By John Patrick Pullen
September 18, 2017

As iPhone and iPad owners ready to update their devices to Apple’s new iOS 11, some users may be in for a cruel surprise. Several models of the company’s mobile devices will not be able to update to the new operating system. In fact, one product didn’t last four years, being rendered obsolete on the last day of its third year.

iPad 4 is the sole new Apple tablet model unable to take the iOS 11 update. That means the device will join every older model in not being able to receive new features. Originally launched Nov. 2, 2012, the device was powered by the now-aging A6x processor, which is a 32-bit chip. iOS 11 is a 64-bit operating system, which is why the tablet will not be receiving further updates.

On the smartphone side, iPhone 5 will also be mothballed by the new operating system. Released Sept. 21, 2012, the handset was the last one overseen by Steve Jobs. It boasts the Apple A6 processor, which lacks the graphics might of the A6X, but is also a 32-bit chip and is otherwise similar.

In addition, iOS 11 will be unavailable for iPhone 5Cs, the low-cost smartphone model released by Apple on Sept. 20, 2013. Though it’s a year younger than the iPhone 5, the 5C also used the 32-bit Apple A6 processor (helping to keep its costs down), which is why they are both being retired at the same time.

Released alongside the iPhone 5C, the iPhone 5S has a 64-bit Apple A7 processor which is compatible with the new iOS 11 operating system. As a result, owners of that model will be able to update their handsets to the new system—for now, at least.

According to Apple’s official designations, none of the above models are actually “obsolete.” But since they will not be receiving the new features of the iOS 11 operating system, for all intents and purposes, they effectively are retired.

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