iPhone 7 owners lash out at Tim Cook over decision to ditch iOS 16 support

Red iPhone unboxing
Red iPhone unboxing (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple won't support iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus when the software ships this fall.
  • The iPhone 7 devices use the A10 Fusion, a chip that also powered iPads that are supported by iOS 16.
  • Apple is yet to say why iPhone 7 will not be supported and people are angry.

Apple's decision not to support iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus when iOS 16 ships later this year is proving to be a controversial one. Owners of devices older than iPhone 8 will need to upgrade if they want to benefit from iOS 16's new features, and they're taking Apple and CEO Tim Cook to task over it.

Apple announced iOS 16 as part of its WWDC22 opening keynote on Monday and while it's true that the update was well-received, the news that iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus won't be supported wasn't. People have been taking to Twitter to complain, with Cook often feeling the full force of their frustration.

One person suggested that even if their iPhone 8 is dropped when iOS 17 launches next year, they won't upgrade. They don't like the large screen and lack of Home button, although switching to an iPhone SE is one option they could consider.

While Cook was on the receiving end of much descent, others just shouted into the void of Twitter, hoping for something better.

And that, right there, is the crux of the problem. Apple often stops supporting older devices and the iPhone 7 lineup has been around since 2016, a time when iPhone 7 Plus was the undisputed best iPhone for photographers. But its A10 Fusion chip is also used in the sixth and seventh-generation iPad — devices that will get iOS 16 support this fall. With that in mind, the logic behind Apple's decision is a difficult one to follow. It's possible there are other factors at play, but until Apple explains its decision people are going to continue to complain.

Even if there is some specification that iPhone 7 is lacking, there is precedent for releasing an update and keeping some features for newer devices. Even iPhone 12 will miss out on the ability to use Face ID in landscape mode, for example. That's an iOS 16 feature that will only be offered on iPhone 13 for now — although iPhone 14 will surely be added to the mix this September.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.