iOS 16 has now officially started its journey out to iPhones so it is important for consumers to know whether their individual iPhone model is compatible with the new version. Apple does tend to offer a good level of support to the iPhone, and certainly a better level than what competing Android brands tend to offer. However, iPhones do still have their limits and that does mean that older devices eventually fall off the support cliff.

Apple officially previewed iOS 16 during its WWDC 2022 event, providing interested consumers with a look at some of the features they can expect when the update properly begins rolling out later this year. Among the many now-confirmed features is a new lock screen experience and the ability to edit and even unsend iMessages after they’ve been sent. Along with iOS 16, Apple also provided previews of some of the upgrades coming with the latest version of iPadOS, macOS and watchOS as well.


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iOS 16 will be released later this year but that doesn’t mean that all iPhone models will be eligible for the software upgrade. Even though the exact date iOS 16 is due to be released hasn’t been confirmed yet, Apple has provided details on supported devices. The takeaway is that there shouldn’t be any issues with getting iOS 16 as long as a consumer has an iPhone 8 or newer model. Below is the full list of compatible iOS 16 iPhone models:

  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)

Older iPhone Models Won’t Get iOS 16

iOS 16 screens

Although the release of iOS 15 in 2021 didn’t see any major changes from the release of iOS 14 in 2020, that’s not quite the case this year. With the iPhone 8 series now the new barrier of entry, those with an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus won’t be eligible to upgrade to iOS 16. Likewise, those with an iPhone SE (1st generation) are also excluded from the list. All of these iPhone models were previously eligible for the upgrade to iOS 15.

While that might be disappointing to owners of any of these non-supported iPhone models, it shouldn’t be too surprising. The iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone SE (1st generation) were all first released back in 2016, while the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were released even earlier. Apple tends to offer around six years worth of upgrades to an iPhone, and that level of support is largely what these iPhone models have now received. Even though these iPhone models won’t be getting an upgrade to iOS 16, they’ve had a pretty good run in terms of software support.