Apple says your new iPhone will get at least five years of security updates, but history suggests it'll be significantly longer

The iPhone 15 lineup at the Apple Store in Nanjing East, Shanghai, China.
(Image credit: Apple)

If you buy a brand-new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max you can expect it to receive at least five years of security updates — and for the first time, that's official.

Apple confirmed the news as part of a submission to address a new legal requirement in the United Kingdom under the new Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) regulations. Those regulations require that companies confirm how long hardware buyers can expect to receive software updates.

In the case of Apple, it says that iPhone buyers can expect to receive new software updates for five years after their iPhone went on sale. In this case, the filing relates to Apple's best iPhone, the iPhone 15 Pro Max which was first released on September 22, 2023. However, past history shows that buyers can likely expect security updates for much longer.

Five years (or more)

Apple's filing was first reported by Android Authority with the regulation requiring companies to submit the “minimum length of time, expressed as a period of time with an end date, for which security updates will be provided.” It also defines a security update as a  “software update that protects or enhances the security of a product, including a software update that addresses security issues which have been discovered by or reported to the manufacturer.”

Apple's five-year timeframe isn't long compared to seven years of security updates that Google promises that buyers of Pixel devices can expect. However, owners of older iPhones have historically found that they continue to receive important security updates for many more years — recent security updates have been applied to devices as old as the iPhone 6s, a phone that first went on sale way back in 2015 — a whole nine years ago.

iPhone 15 Pro Max | $0.01 at Amazon (with a plan)

iPhone 15 Pro Max | $0.01 at Amazon (with a plan)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the biggest and best model that Apple makes, and this deal gets you unlimited text, talk, and data, and even offers you the chance to upgrade your phone every single year to the latest and greatest iPhone. 

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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.

  • Annie_M
    " lease five years"... this is a good thing!
  • Wotchered
    Well I've had nearly six years from this XS so I'm looking for seven !