iOS 17 may drop support for these iPhones — what we know so far

iOS 17 logo on phone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We’re roughly two months away from WWDC 2023, where Apple is set to unveil the first concrete information about iOS 17. But we’ve already heard a bunch of rumors, and the latest claims to know which devices won’t be supporting the new software — rendering them close to obsolete in the process.

According to an anonymous user on Twitter, who limits the visibility of their tweets, iOS 17 will drop support for three iPhones and three iPads. Specifically, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, 5th generation iPad, as well as the first generation 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros. Which is pretty much what we were expecting.

If the rumor proves true, this would see the six devices follow the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, the first generation iPhone SE and seventh generation iPod Touch — all of which lost support for regular iOS updates with the launch of iOS 16 last year.

We don’t know why these devices have been singled out to lose access to new iOS versions right now, barring their age. All three iPhones launched in late 2017, and the 5th gen iPad launched in March of the same year. The two iPad Pros are even older, launching in March 2016 and November 2015, respectively.  

MacRumors notes that all these devices are affected by an unpatchable bootroom vulnerability that affects devices running on A5 through A11 chips. Known as “checkm8,” this vulnerability has been used to allow permanent jailbreaking in a way that Apple can’t remove, letting users continue to update iOS with impunity. And because the exploit required specialist equipment and physical access to your device, it wasn’t considered a security liability.

While Apple will no doubt continue to roll out security updates for iOS 16, all the latest and best features will be exclusives to devices that support iOS 17. The A12 chip and beyond couldn’t be affected the same way, so locking out those devices from iOS 17 automatically cuts the future lifespan of the devices and the exploit itself. 

This hasn’t been confirmed by Apple, though, and there’s already one rumor refuting the loss of support for these devices. Posting on the MacRumors forum, one leaker claims that any device running iOS 16 will also support iOS 17 — which includes all the aforementioned devices. If this is the case then we won’t see any Apple devices take their first steps towards functional obsolescence this year.

We’ll likely find out for sure at WWDC 2023, which kicks off with a keynote speech on June 5. iOS 17 itself is set to arrive later this year, closer to the launch of the iPhone 15 series. We’ll likely hear a lot more about iOS 17 over the coming weeks, so stay tuned and we’ll bring you the latest news and leaks.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.