With Apple frequently releasing new iPhone models and iOS updates, it can be difficult for organizations to ensure adequate device performance and functionality while extending the life of their existing iPhone investment.
Mobile devices are making rapid inroads into the enterprise space in recent years. In particular, the increased processing power of devices such as the iPhone has made it possible to run multiple applications while maintaining connectivity. Mobile device manufacturers continually release new models of their products, and in the case of the iPhone, this happens every year. Newer devices typically offer faster processors and additional features such as enhanced cameras and new OS features.
However, unlike computers, users cannot upgrade their iPhones by replacing some components. So for companies to upgrade his iPhone, he has only one option: swap it out for a newer model. Given the high cost of replacing multiple phones within an organization, administrators may want to keep the old devices as long as they are in operation.
Deferring device updates carries the risk of endpoints being unusable and unsupported if ignored. To maintain the functionality and security of mobile devices, it is important to weigh factors such as OS requirements and repair costs. Organizations should keep several considerations in mind when deciding to keep iPhones beyond their one- to two-year replacement plan.
Always keep AppleCare on your device
When buying an iPhone for business, it’s important to make sure the device will work fine even if something inside breaks. Your iPhone must have AppleCare for this to happen. This allows Apple to repair your iPhone or replace defective components if the device fails. An IT administrator should ensure that all company-owned iPhones are always under his AppleCare plan.
Replace an iPhone that is no longer receiving software updates
Apple requires third-party app developers to deploy new versions of their apps that can run on the latest iOS operating systems. Devices that do not receive the latest iOS upgrade risk being unable to run the latest versions of some apps available on the App Store. If you haven’t replaced these older iPhones and are running older versions of iOS, you may have trouble running the latest versions of some important business apps. This can render these devices unusable and put your organization at risk.
Your MDM platform may have iOS version requirements
IT departments can use mobile device management (MDM) software to manage and deploy apps to iPhones. In some cases, these management platforms may have iOS version requirements. This means that some older devices may no longer be available for management by his MDM. This can be a thorny issue for IT teams as they may not be able to push security policies or deploy apps to these devices.
Older devices need more support to maintain
As organizations try to keep all iPhones in their possession for as long as possible, IT departments are forced to spend more time supporting devices Apple no longer supports. Repairing your device outside of an AppleCare plan will cost you more. In addition to support issues, iPhones not using the latest version of iOS may not receive critical software and security updates from Apple. If someone finds an exploit or vulnerability in an older version of iOS and no fix is available, this can pose serious compliance issues.
On average, Apple supports each iPhone model for about 6+ years. Earlier models like 5/5C only support up to iOS 10, while iPhone 6/6 Plus supports up to iOS 12. iPhone 6S/6S Plus and later versions support up to the latest version of iOS 15. considers a product obsolete when it has been out of circulation and sale for more than seven years. Owners will be given plenty of time even if they purchased the equipment during the early release. Apple also provides a list highlighting which products are considered vintage and which are considered obsolete.
Still, organizations should understand the risks of extending an iPhone’s life too long so they can repair the device and support the apps their employees need. Currently, Apple’s latest iOS version is iOS 16. However, this OS is only compatible with iPhone 8/8 Plus and above.
If IT administrators decide to extend the life of deployed iPhones, they need to know which devices may cause problems. An MDM platform that provides hardware and software version requirements helps flag outdated devices that need to be upgraded or replaced. These notifications help eliminate disruptions that can occur when newer versions of iOS remove support from older devices.