Apple reveals how long iPhones will get support — and it's less than Google and Samsung

iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max in hand.
(Image credit: Future)

Due to UK regulations, Apple has confirmed how long the company will provide updates for the iPhone 15

While companies like Google and Samsung are fairly open about how long their smartphones will see upgrades and security patches, Apple has, historically, not been as forthcoming. That said, you can find evidence that Apple updates phones well past the claimed timelines of some other companies. 

With the new UK regulations taking effect at the end of April, Apple has been compelled to officially detail the minimum support lifetime for an iPhone, as reported by Android Authority. For current phones, it’s surprisingly less than Apple’s two biggest competitors. 

The United Kingdom Product and Security Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) introduced the PSTI Act 2022 and a 2023 mandate last year. Those came into effect on April 29, 2024. The regulation is designed to improve the security of consumer devices that can connect to the internet, like iPhones. 

Apple recently released their statement of compliance for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The defined support period is a minimum five years from the first supply date. According to Apple's statement, that date started on September 22, 2023, when the iPhone 15 lineup launched.

For PSTI, the support period refers to the minimum amount of time that security updates will be provided by a company. The regulatory branch defines a security update as “software update that protects or enhances the security of a product, including a software update that addresses security issues which have been discovered by or reported to the manufacturer.”

So, Apple is confirming that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will receive a minimum of five years of security updates, less than what competitors are currently offering.

To be fair to Apple, Google’s security update policy increased to seven years only recently with the launch of the Pixel 8 lineup. Until 2021, the company only offered three years of updates. With the launch of the Pixel 6 series, the company bumped it up to five years.

For years, Samsung has long offered up to five years of patches. Like Google, Samsung bumped that number to seven with the release of the Galaxy S24 phones

Apple has been known to update phones for up to five years, but as mentioned, it has never officially been confirmed before now.

We’re certain that companies like Apple and Samsung are banking on people upgrading pretty regularly. Consumer Affairs study from last year found nearly 12% of phone users upgraded annually. Close to 5% purchase a new phone every six months.

The same study says most cell phone users (55.47%) upgrade their phones every two to three years. They did not elaborate on how many people are upgrading at the five or seven year mark though. 

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.