Older Apple devices including the iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV might soon lose access to some essential Apple services, such as the App Store, Siri, and Maps.
While this probably sounds very scary to anyone with an old iPhone or Mac, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds for several reasons.
The news comes from leaker StellaFudge (via MacRumors), who claims that access to Apple services (all except iCloud) will stop working on devices running iOS 11 to 11.2.6, macOS 10.13 to 10.13.3, watchOS 4 to 4.2.3, and tvOS 11 to 11.2.6.
This is semi-confirmed by an official support document from Apple, which says that “some older software versions will no longer support Apple Services like the App Store, Siri, and Maps.” Apple doesn’t mention any particular time in which this will happen, but says that users with devices running old software will get a notification about the change.
Here’s the important bit: The software versions that StellaFudge mentions are all ancient and replaced with newer versions, to which users can easily upgrade. For example, the latest version of iOS 11 is 11.4.1, whereas the latest version of macOS High Sierra or 10.13 is 10.13.6.
This means that the vast majority of users should not be running older versions of this software anyway, as it potentially exposes them to bugs and security vulnerabilities. One exception that I can think of are developers testing something on very old software, but they are probably few and far between, too.
Furthermore, a very large majority of Apple users run newer versions of software. For example, an Apple support document, dated Feb. 14, 2023, says that 72 percent of all iPhones run iOS 16, 20 percent run iOS 15, and only 8 percent run an earlier version of iOS.