New iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 compatibility leak claims some devices are going to miss out this time around

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If everything goes the way we think it will, Apple will announce the iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 software updates at the WWDC event which has now been confirmed to kick off on June 10. The updates are hotly-anticipated, with some big new features thought to be on the horizon. But with Apple AI thought to be a big addition to the 2024 software updates across the board, it was always going to be a question of whether Apple would need to drop support for some older iPhones and iPads.

Now, a new leak claims to have the answer. That leak suggests that iPhone owners won't have too much to worry about, but some iPad owners who were able to install iPadOS 17 last year might find that their tablets are a no-go this time out.

If Apple does announce the new software in June it won't be available until September, and with a slew of new iPads expected over the coming months, this might be a good year to upgrade.

All the supported devices

According to the leaker, who posted to a protected X account that was spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple will be able to support all the same devices when iOS 18 ships as it did with iOS 17.

If that is indeed the case, the following iPhones will all be compatible with iOS 18. And you can of course add the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max to this list when they ship this fall.

  • iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

The news isn't quite so good if you're using one of a handful of iPads, however. According to the leak, Apple will drop support for the iPad (6th generation), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (2nd generation), and iPad Pro (10.5-inch) when iPadOS 18 debuts. However, it isn't clear why these tablets will not be supported given the fact that the iPad Pro models both use the A10X Fusion, a chip that is also in the iPad (7th-gen) which will be supported.

If that is indeed the case, the following iPads will all support iPadOS 18 — and we can of course add the upcoming OLED iPad Pro and new 6th-gen iPad Air, too.

  • iPad: 2019 and later
  • iPad mini: 2019 and later
  • iPad Air: 2019 and later
  • iPad Pro 2018 and later

Apple is expected to preview these updates during WWDC alongside the new software for the Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Apple Vision Pro. All of the releases will likely be made immediately available in beta form to developers before undergoing a months-long beta process. Finally, the software will likely be made available to the public this coming September, shortly before the arrival of the new iPhones as well as the rumored Apple Watch X and refreshed Apple Watch Ultra.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

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.

  • Just_Me_D
    Typically, when a new OS version is released, some older devices are left off of the compatibility list, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, in my opinion.
    Reply
  • Annie_M
    I agree with D. This should not be a surprise to anyone!
    Reply
  • Wotchered
    It's not a surprise ! My old iPad 5 is only partially supported at the moment, 16.7.7, but still runs everything I need it to. It won't be replaced till it won't. iOS 18 sounds like when that might happen. Depends what might be upgraded.
    It seems to me that I won't actually want any of the much trumpeted new features anyway. Although there are a few things that I'd like, that Apple definitely won't do.
    I also don't like at all the idea, that Apple seems to be drawing closer to Google again !
    Reply