Apple declares iPhone 5 obsolete six years after launch

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2018
As this year's cutting edge iPhone XS and XR handsets ship to rave reviews, Apple quietly declared its six-year-old iPhone 5 -- itself once considered the world's most advanced smartphone -- obsolete.




The iPhone 5 was added to Apple's "vintage and obsolete" product list on Tuesday, noting the hardware is now considered vintage in the United States and obsolete in the rest of the world. Devices that fall into the "vintage" category, defined as products in production for more than five years but less than seven, are excluded from ongoing repair support except in regions where local laws preclude such prohibitions.

Mac Otakara noted the addition to Apple's product support document on Wednesday.

Apple debuted iPhone 5 at a special media event in 2012. The 4-inch handset was the first of Apple's smartphones to move away from the 3.5-inch screen size that dictated iPhone's form factor for five device generations. Apple has since embraced a looser stance on designs with larger screens, a trend toward "phablets" that culminated in this year's 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max.

Along with a larger Retina display, iPhone 5 introduced a number of technologies, some of which, like the proprietary Lightning port, are still in use today. The handset was Apple's first to support 4G LTE connectivity and its last to sport a 32-bit A-series chip. Apple cut off iOS support for iPhone 5, and other legacy devices with 32-bit processors, when it released iOS 11 last year.

Apple routinely obsoletes legacy devices as new hardware versions take their place.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    I still know a few folks who use it. It’s still a lovely device like the 5S. But I still recommend to folks who are using it, get a new battery or at least get a 5S or SE for software support.
    chiafreethinkingnetmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Hopefully this will be the last article that uses the atrocious portmanteau "phablet."  
    fotoformatlibertykrsspheric
  • Reply 3 of 22
    6 years is about right. My wife iPhone 6 will be retired next year when I bought a new iPhone and give her my X. It will be 6 years too. 
  • Reply 4 of 22
    seanjseanj Posts: 25member
    A classic design in the iPhone series.
    It’s a shame Apple don’t offer a X series phone with the 5’s dimensions for those of use who don’t want to haul around increasingly larger and larger phablets. My only gripe over my iPhone 6 is its increased size means it doesn’t sit as comfortably in the front pocket of my Levi’s.
    bonobobolsmike54TomEfreethinkingnetmageatomic101larz2112pulseimages
  • Reply 5 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,390member
    Right after the iPhone4, the iP5 was my favorite in terms of design.

    Six years down the road, they'll be staying the same thing about the iPX.  
    chia
  • Reply 6 of 22
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,094member
    Six years is at least twice the supported lifetime of any Android phone -- Google's own Pixel (the first model), which came out waaaay back 25 months ago was EOL'd last April and as of today will no longer be serviced.
    radarthekatwillcropointapres587
  • Reply 7 of 22
    fred1fred1 Posts: 282member
    My wife’ 5 is still going strong too. It was my first iPhone and I still really like the design (flat edges, not curved). It’s her first too. 

    Remember, “retired” does not mean “dead”!
    netmage
  • Reply 8 of 22
    TomETomE Posts: 137member
    We need a small iPhone or perhaps consider something else.  Not everyone wants a large phone.

    freethinkingatomic101pulseimages
  • Reply 9 of 22
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,804member
    That was my first iPhone. Missed out on the earlier models because my company was still issuing Blackberry phones at the time.
    Was always jealous of my wife's iPhone 4.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    chasm said:
    Google's own Pixel (the first model), which came out waaaay back 25 months ago was EOL'd last April and as of today will no longer be serviced.
    Wrong. I've no idea where some people get their information.
    https://store.google.com/repaircenter

    Still a very good phone too, receiving security updates, patches, and feature upgrades on my second hand but looks like new one. After next October I may not continue receiving security updates (barring some major issue), so kudos to Apple for extending most of the iOS version improvements/updates to even 5 year old devices.  Even tho the security patches may stop late next year I would expect feature upgrades to continue, even some of those from the very latest Pixels.
    edited November 2018 willcropoint
  • Reply 11 of 22
    This is also the passing of an era, as the iPhone 5 was the last project that Steve personally worked on. https://www.cnet.com/news/steve-jobs-last-big-project-the-next-iphone/
  • Reply 12 of 22
    I still know a few folks who use it. It’s still a lovely device like the 5S. But I still recommend to folks who are using it, get a new battery or at least get a 5S or SE for software support.
    Sure. I do use 5S and my wife prefers 5SE over new iPhones die to smaller size that fits female hand and purse better than bullky new iPhones. We are not playing with it, but use for communications purely (a lot of bsuiness in different disciplines). For me, I wish XR was unlocked as my 5S is. I am not spending $1000 on any phone as it is pointless to me and i am not planning to use it for more than 5 extra communication and navigation applications. For anything else iPad does better job... except tha Apple needs to start understanding that bigger resolution does not mean more tiny font in apps and it needs to force app developers to scale with iOS system fonts to be readable (otherwise it is useless for large population that is not teenage anymore).
  • Reply 13 of 22
    seanj said:
    A classic design in the iPhone series.
    It’s a shame Apple don’t offer a X series phone with the 5’s dimensions for those of use who don’t want to haul around increasingly larger and larger phablets. My only gripe over my iPhone 6 is its increased size means it doesn’t sit as comfortably in the front pocket of my Levi’s.
    eventually.   the iPhone SE is still 'supported'.  It would make sense the XR will have 2 sizes eventually, and push 'down' the LCD line to that size (iPhone 'mini').   Part of this may require miniturization of the faceID componentry (the 'notch' will be large relative to the  remaining real estate, esp in the 'width' dimension), part of it will be cost...  this size will need to be in the $650 price range, and that will require some level of manufacturing equity built up to 'pay' for the componentry of this XRse ....   

    and one would argue that that size would be perfect for the 'iPod'. [never say never...]

    I have big hands and small fat thumbs... I have an 8 now (after a 6s), and find it 'tolerable', but the SE I had last year for work was quite fine for my primary phone work.   I just picked up a Watch, and that does reduce my phone/pocket interactions, but still my thumbs aren't great reaching up to the top in one hand mode.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 14 of 22
    netmagenetmage Posts: 256member
    I still think the iPhone 5s was the high mark for the first generation of iPhones with its design, availability in black, TouchID addition and 64-bit.
    I wish the second generations would revert to a similar design with smaller radius corners and flat sides as the new iPads have. I'm hoping for the Xi to be that phone.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    davendaven Posts: 486member
    Isn't the 5 the last 32 bit iPhone? I have a 5s and will be moving to one of this year's models. I just have to decide which is best for me. I went to an Apple store yesterday to try them out. I like the one handed operation of the Xs and the screen is bigger than my 5s. I like the price of the Xr. My eyes are getting old so big screen of the Xs Max is appealing. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 16 of 22
    I still have my 3GS (my first iPhone) my 4, 4S, 5, 5S and 6S Plus. All in mint condition with the boxes. I occasionally fire them up to make sure they still work.

    My #1 favorite still is the black 4, second is the slate 5 (the only model to be available in that color) I loved how it looked dark blue in certain light conditions. I believe it was also the lightest phone.

    I picked it up the other day and it felt like a piece of paper! I still remember like it was yesterday waiting on that UPS truck to drop it off at my house on release day! I took the day off work just to be home to sign for it haha! Got it first thing in the morning. 
  • Reply 17 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,593member
    daven said:
    Isn't the 5 the last 32 bit iPhone? I have a 5s and will be moving to one of this year's models. I just have to decide which is best for me. I went to an Apple store yesterday to try them out. I like the one handed operation of the Xs and the screen is bigger than my 5s. I like the price of the Xr. My eyes are getting old so big screen of the Xs Max is appealing. 
    Yes, it was.   And that is what killed it.   It was no longer compatible with Apple's newer OS's -- particularly their new file system.

    It seems that most take its demise as a bench mark as to what to expect from future phones.   But I don't think it is...
  • Reply 18 of 22
    As soon as the SE was discontinued I fired off an email to Tim Cook expressing my disappointment and hope that Apple will replace the same small form factor with upgraded internals in the future. I never heard back but he probably doesn’t have time to respond to everyone. 
  • Reply 19 of 22
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,365member
    As soon as the SE was discontinued I fired off an email to Tim Cook expressing my disappointment and hope that Apple will replace the same small form factor with upgraded internals in the future. I never heard back but he probably doesn’t have time to respond to everyone. 
    It hasn't been discontinued, they just don't sell it directly through Apple's online portal, or flagship stores. Authorized resellers are currently selling it and likely will for at least the next year before the clock starts ticking on Apple's support.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    sflocal said:
    Right after the iPhone4, the iP5 was my favorite in terms of design.

    Six years down the road, they'll be staying the same thing about the iPX.  
    Agreed...I had the 4 and 4s and remember Stevo saying the only other thing like it was maybe a Leica camera (my dad had a Leica in 1957).

    Then I bought my daughter a 5 and could not believe how much lighter it was than than the 4s and 5c. It was amazing. 

    I'm still rocking a rose gold SE! :)
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