When iPadOS 17 arrives later this fall, some owners of older iPads might finally have an excuse to upgrade. A new report claims Apple will drop support for three models this year, including the first-ever iPad Pro models that won’t get the latest update.
According to the French language Apple news site iPhoneSoft, an “internal source at Apple” has divulged that three iPad models will be stuck at iOS 16 when the new update arrives this fall. They are the 5th-gen iPad from 2017, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro from 2016, and the 1st-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro that debuted in 2015.
All three tablets have a version of Apple’s A9 processor, which debuted with the 6s and 6s Plus in 2015. Apple dropped support for that chip and its successor, the A10, when iOS 16 launched last year without support for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus or the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Of note, both the 6th- and 7th-gen iPad use the A10 chip, while the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and second-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro use the slightly faster A10X variant, so it’s possible that those devices lose support when iOS 18 launches next year.
It’s not clear from the report why Apple is dropping support for these iPads, but it’s almost certainly due to performance issues with the new features. For example, several iPadOS 16 features aren’t available on these devices, including Display Zoom and Stage Manager. Apple doesn’t “guarantee” support for older devices, but it generally offers between five and seven years of upgrades.
On the iPhone side, Apple is expected to keep continue support for all models that supported iOS 16, beginning with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. We’ll get our first look at iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 at WWDC on June 5, when Apple will announce the major new features and compatibility ahead of beta testing.