iPhone and iPad problems have increased for users in recent weeks with ongoing bugs and major security vulnerabilities, with Apple playing a game of Whack-a-Mole twice in quick succession. But now the company is planning to reward iPhone owners who stick with them.
New information attained by The Verifier reveals plans to continue support for all iOS 13-compatible iPhones with iOS 14. The Verifier states this information comes via access to a build of iOS 14 which was subsequently verified by a “trusted source” in Apple’s development team. Given the numerous problems in iOS 13, particularly early releases, ongoing software and security support would be a major reason for owners of older iPhones to stick with the company.
06/03 Update: details from future iOS updates continue to leak. Spotted by 9to5Mac, code inside Apple’s iOS 13.5.5 beta software reveals the company is preparing to launch new service bundles. The terms “bundle offer” and “bundle subscription” are contained in the release with packages expected to combine Apple Music ($9.99 per month), Apple TV+ ($4.99 pm) and Apple News+ ($9.99 pm). No price has been revealed for any bundle ($15-20 would seem a likely price range), but with Apple Music significantly more popular than the other two, it makes sense for Apple to try and bolster its others services as a package. The arrival of Apple service bundles alongside surprisingly affordable new 5G iPhones again confirms the company’s aggressive new strategy of undercutting rivals on price this year. Based on what we already know about the new iPhone 12 range, this hardware + software value-based combination could prove unstoppable.
06/04 Update: 9to5Mac has discovered more new features hidden inside a leaked build of iOS 14. These include a built-in translator for Safari (which works offline with all translations happening on-device) and, most significantly, support for the Apple Pencil. In the early iOS 14 build 9to5Mac attained, Pencil support is limited to websites but it is not limited to navigation with both drawing and markup supported. Having long been removed as a potential feature limited to new iPhone hardware, it would be big news if Pencil support becomes available to all iPhone owners with iOS 14. Needless to say, features from early software can just as easily be removed as added so there is no guarantee it will make the final release but it would be a very welcome addition, if it survives.
For those in doubt, iOS 13 currently supports the iPhone 6S and newer and the 7th generation iPod touch. The Verifier doesn’t confirm whether iPadOS 14 will be so generous (iPadOS 13 supports the 2014 iPad Air 2 and newer), but it would seem like a good bet. Interestingly, the report also backs up an early leak from iPhoneSoft.fr which made the same claim in January though with the caveat that Apple’s decision at the time was not yet final.
If correct, this news could not be better timed for iPhone owners. Aside from being a ‘thank you’ for sticking with the company through its problems with iOS 13, it would show Apple is not blind to the considerable challenges in 2020 and the fact they put many owners of older iPhones in a difficult financial position where they may not be able to justify an upgrade this year.
Of course, the flipside is iOS 15 may well drop two generations of iPhone in 2021 (iOS 13 dropped support for both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), but that is a problem for another time. Troubled as iOS updates have been in recent years, the longevity of their support remains a key differentiator. With the iPhone 12 also set to undercut 5G Android rivals on price, Apple may just have played its winning hand.