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iOS 16 is on the way, but not for all iPhones – here’s how to check

If you plan on updating to iOS 16, you’ll need to know which iPhones can update to the new version.

ios 16 icon with blurred iphone in background
Image: KnowTechie

The iOS 16 update is set to roll out to the public come this fall. Currently in beta, it comes with a slew of new and exciting features.

With the new iOS 16 update, you’ll be able to lock photo albums with Face ID. You can also see Wi-Fi passwords, unsend iMessages, and remove photo backgrounds, among others.

There’s so much more that you can do with the new iOS 16 update, however, there’s one critical thing you can’t do with it.

READ MORE: How to edit iMessages in iOS 16

You can’t use it on all iPhones. This is because older iPhones will not be able to receive the iOS 16 update. As expected, this will affect iPhone users with older, unsupported models.

When will iOS 16 be released?

ios 15 photo app
Image: KnowTechie

There’s no fixed release date yet, but Apple has historically released new updates during the fall. Also, the iPhone 14 is expected to drop around the same period.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that iOS 16 will be released around September, along with the iPhone 14. This only leaves you a couple of months to catch up.

READ MORE: How to use emojis as your lock screen background in iOS 16

If you’re eager to know whether your iPhone model is supported, you’re not alone. Others like you who have splurged on an iPhone also want to know.

This is because unsupported iPhones will no longer receive critical updates and their continued use could pose serious security risks.

iOS 16 compatible iPhones


The following iPhone models will receive the iOS 16 update. If you own one of these, there’s nothing to worry about.

Here are iOS 16 compatible iPhones in order of release:

  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (second gen and later)

If you don’t own one of these, you may want to consider upgrading your iPhone or trading in your iPhone for a newer supported model.

To check your current iPhone model, go to Settings > General > About. Meanwhile, you can sign up to try the first iOS 16 public beta release.

What iPhone to buy?

If you’re a first-time iPhone user, you now know which models to avoid. You can safely aim for an iPhone 8 or later.

However, bear in mind that models like the iPhone 8, though iOS 16 compatible, may soon become incompatible with future updates in a couple of years. Your best bet will be an iPhone 13 or 14.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Joy Okumoko is a freelance technology writer who loves all things tech. She spends her spare time crocheting and working on her crafts.

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