During this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2016), Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to announce the company’s new software releases in the coming months. Among the operating systems mentioned during the keynote speech, it was — unsurprisingly — the next versions of OS X and iOS that received the most attention due to the new features and enhanced continuity between the mobile and desktop OSs.
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An interesting talking point among Mac users looking toward the future has more to do with the past in the form of the devices that macOS Sierra and iOS 10 will be supporting; more specifically, what equipment will not be capable of running the newly announced operating systems, since Apple is effectively dropping support for a significant number of devices. (Note: Apple has yet to release the final requirements for running macOS Sierra.) The breakdown of which device model types are supported for both macOS and iOS is largely relegated to equipment manufactured since 2009.
- iPhone: 5 or newer
- iPod Touch: 6th Generation
- iPad: 4th Generation or newer
- iPad Mini: 2 or newer
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Apple maintains this will likely impact only a small percentage of end users, though this will no doubt negatively affect commercial businesses — from SMBs to enterprises — to a larger degree since compliance with new OSs and software typically require large, upfront investments in procuring new equipment.
Additional expenses associated with procurement of new computers, tablets, and mobile devices are not limited to the devices themselves, but rather extend to include peripherals and adapters, cases, training on new products, and of course, ongoing support and repair warranties.
This makes the proposition of upgrading to the latest Apple OS a difficult one should some or much of the equipment to be upgraded fall outside of the supported requirements Apple detailed at the conference. It is an especially tough pill to swallow given how little difference there has been among software and hardware during certain release cycles, even when older OSs were previously supported on them.