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Apple Finally Tells How Long iPhones Will Get Updates, and It’s Less Than Samsung and Google

TLDR: Apple has finally committed to providing a minimum of five years of security updates for iPhones, as required by the UK’s PSTI regulation. However, this is less than the seven years guaranteed by Samsung and Google for their flagship devices, although Apple has historically supported iPhones for longer.

When you’re looking to spend a lot of money on the best phone right now, you’ll need to think about how many updates you’ll get. A $1,000 phone that only gets three years of updates means you’ll need to get a new one after those three years if you want to stay safe.

It varies.

Although phone update plans change a lot by brand, most brands will tell you how long they’ll support their devices.

There’s one big exception to this, though, and it’s Apple. In the past, Apple has not given a minimum promise for software support, though it has often done better than other companies when it comes to updates. Now, though, Apple has finally committed to a minimum support lifetime for the iPhone, and it’s surprisingly less than what some of its competitors offer.

New UK Law

On April 29, 2024, the UK’s Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) regulation started. This regulation forces companies that make, bring in, or sell internet-capable products in the UK to follow certain security rules. The goal of this regulation is to make consumer products that can connect to the internet, especially IoT devices, more secure. Companies affected by the regulation must provide statements of compliance that outline, among other things, the support period for which security updates will be provided.

Since iPhones are internet-capable products, Apple has to follow the UK’s PSTI regulation. The company recently published its compliance statement for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, showing that its “defined support period” is a “minimum of five years from the first supply date.” The “first supply date” is listed as September 22, 2023, which is when the iPhone 15 series went on sale.

What It Means

According to the text of the PSTI regulation, the “defined support period” is the “minimum length of time, expressed as a period of time with an end date, for which security updates will be provided.” A “security update,” meanwhile, is defined by the PSTI as a “software update that protects or enhances the security of a product, including a software update that addresses security issues which have been discovered by or reported to the manufacturer.”

So, Apple is telling the UK government that it will give security updates for a minimum of five years from the launch date of the iPhone 15. In other words, the iPhone 15 is officially guaranteed to receive security updates until September 22, 2028. This, as VP of Engineering for Android Security & Privacy at Google Dave Kleidermacher points out, means that Apple is no longer offering the best security update policy in the industry. Both Samsung and Google guarantee seven years of not just security updates but also Android OS updates for their respective flagship devices, which is two years longer than what Apple guarantees.

Apple’s Track Record

To Apple’s credit, though, it has long provided more than five years of security updates for its various iPhone devices. Some iPhones have received security updates six or more years after the initial release, which is far more support than the vast majority of Android devices receive.


So, while Samsung and Google currently beat Apple in terms of how long they’re guaranteeing software support, that doesn’t mean iPhone users can’t keep their phones for just as long, if not longer. They’ll just need to hope Apple doesn’t cut off support after the five-year minimum.


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