Apple consistently brings out a new numbered version of mobile operating system iOS every year at its WWDC event. We’re currently on iOS 13, and so we’re expecting iOS 14 to make its debut in a couple of months, but another expectation, that we were going to say goodbye to another generation of compatible Apple devices in the process of upgrading, may not be happening.
A rumor from iPhonesoft (via 9to5Mac), sourced from an Apple employee (who apparently works on its Maps app), says that the phones that currently run on iOS 13, which includes the iPhone 6S and later, the iPhone SE and the 7th generation iPod touch, will all be updated to iOS 14, too.
The iPhone 12 will also run on the new OS, but we won’t be seeing that until September in all likelihood, as will the iPhone SE 2 (also possibly called the iPhone 9), which we’re expecting to launch in the next couple of months.
The reason for this change of heart is CPU architecture. The iPhone 6S and iPhone SE both use Apple’s A9 chip, which has greater similarity with later Apple CPUs (we’re currently on the A13 series in the iPhone 11 series), meaning it’s easier to keep them all updated together than was the case with older processors.
iPhonesoft’s source does however add that support for these two phones in particular isn’t definite, and that Apple will only decide for sure in a few months’ time depending on how its newer models perform in sales.
An update to iOS also means an update to the iPadOS version design for Apple’s tablets. The lucky group getting iPad OS 14, according to iPhonesoft, include all iPad Pro models (including the rumored upcoming 5G version), the iPad Mini 5, the iPad Air 3, and the iPad 5 and later models. This group all use the A9 CPU or later, which again seems to be the criterion for whether Apple will offer the update to these devices’ users.
iPhonesoft can sometimes get details wrong with its leaks. As 9to5Mac points out, last year the French website incorrectly claimed that the iPhone SE wouldn’t get the iOS 13 update. However, the broad strokes turned out to be true, so iPhone users who haven’t updated their handset in a few years, perhaps because of the rather high prices of new iPhones, for whatever reason will be glad to know that they’ll still get the latest iOS experience in due course.