Leaked Apple memo reveals that a very popular iPhone model will soon be one step from obsolete
If you still rock 2014's iPhone 6 Plus, we have some sad news for you. MacRumors citing a leaked internal memo it was able to obtain, says that the aging handset will be placed on Apple's Vintage list at the end of this month (which is also the end of this year). Some things get better with age, but unfortunately, smartphones are not one of them because after a few years components like chipsets can't catch up with the latest software.
Starting next year finding parts for the iPhone 6 Plus could be harder to do
According to Apple, "Products are considered vintage when Apple stopped distributing them for sale more than 5 and less than 7 years ago." The current list of iPhone products that are considered Vintage includes the iPhone 4 (8GB), iPhone 4S, iPhone 4S (8GB), iPhone 5, and iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 6 Plus goes Vintage at the end of this month
Apple iPad models that are Vintage feature the following: iPad (4th generation) Wi-Fi, iPad (4th generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad (4th generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular (MM), iPad Air WiFi, iPad Air WiFi + Cellular, iPad Air WiFi + Cellular (TD LTE), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular (MM), iPad mini Wi-Fi, 16GB, Gray, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, 16GB, Gray, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, MM, 16GB, Gray, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular (TD-LTE), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, CDMA, iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, GSM.
Vintage Apple Watch models include the Apple Watch (1st generation), 38mm, and Apple Watch (1st generation), 42mm.
Apple delivers service and parts to consumers through Apple Stores or authorized repair centers for a minimum of five years after a product was last distributed. Service and parts could be obtained for up to seven years, subject to parts availability. Once an Apple product has not been distributed for sale for seven years, it is considered Obsolete.
While a Vintage designation means that a device is at death's door, an Obsolete device has kicked the bucket, reached the end of the line, is dead and buried. Apple says, "Apple discontinues all hardware service for Obsolete products, with the sole exception of Mac notebooks that are eligible for an additional battery-only repair period. Service providers cannot order parts for Obsolete products."
The iPhone models that have crossed over to Obsolete are iPhone, iPhone 3G (China mainland) 8GB, iPhone 3G 8GB, 16GB, iPhone 3GS (China mainland) 16GB, 32GB, iPhone 3GS (8GB), iPhone 3GS 16GB, 32GB, iPhone 4 CDMA, iPhone 4 CDMA (8GB), iPhone 4 16GB, 32GB, iPhone 4 GSM (8GB), Black, and iPhone 4S (8GB).
The iPad models that are Obsolete include OG iPad, iPad 3G, iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi, iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular (VZ), iPad Wi-Fi, iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad Wi-Fi + 4G (Verizon), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (Verizon).
The iPhone 6 has a couple of years left until it joins the Vintage list
Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus lost software support in 2019 with the release of iOS 13. During a time when Android phones were getting equipped with larger screens, Apple decided to offer one model (iPhone 6) with a 4.7-inch display, and a "Plus" model sporting a 5.5-inch screen. The larger screens, coming after the 4-inch iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were released in 2013, resulted in strong demand for the two new phones that year.
While the iPhone 6 Plus was discontinued by Apple in 2016, the iPhone 6 hung around in various regions (like India) until 2018 which explains why only the iPhone 6 Plus joins the Vintage list this year. The iPhone 6 will be added sometime around 2023.
Both models were powered by the A8 chip which was built by TSMC (replacing Samsung Foundry) using the 20nm process node. The A8 contained two billion transistors. Compare that to the current A15 Bionic which is built by TSMC using the 5nm process node and contains 15 billion transistors. The 2014 iPhone models were the first to include the Apple Pay mobile payments platform.