Every once in a while over its product cycles, Apple places some devices on a Vintage list. This year, it’s iPhone 6 Plus’ turn. This 2014 smartphone, according to a leaked internal memo spotted by MacRumours, is going to be placed on the list at the end of this month.
Most devices do not age well because the older components and chipsets cannot keep up with the latest software. Of course, while this does not mean that the device will stop working, but getting repair parts for these are going to get harder. And that’s what is expected to happen with the iPhone 6 Plus starting next year.
As Apple explains on its support page – “Products are considered vintage when Apple stopped distributing them for sale more than 5 and less than 7 years ago.”
The iPhones that are currently on Apple’s Vintage list include the iPhone 4 (8GB), iPhone 4S, iPhone 4S (8GB), iPhone 5, and the iPhone 5C.
This list also includes a whole host of iPad models like the iPad (4th generation), iPad Air WiFi, iPad mini, etc, and the first-generation Apple Watch in 38mm and 42mm.
To understand exactly how Apple classifies these Vintage devices, it is important to understand its repairability clauses. Apple delivers service and parts needed to fix a device through the Apple Stores and authorised repair outlets. And for all devices currently available in the market, Apple will offer both services and repair parts for a minimum of five years after a product is last distributed. For example, if Apple stops production on a certain iPhone, users will be able to obtain service and repair parts for it for at least five years from the time the distribution has stopped. Service and parts could also be available for a maximum of seven years for a device depending on their availability. Over this time, it can still be considered vintage.
However, once an Apple product has not been distributed for sale for seven years, it is considered “Obsolete”.
Classifying a product as Vintage means that the device is about to die, tagging it “Obsolete” means that’s dead and buried.
“Apple discontinues all hardware service for Obsolete products, with the sole exception of Mac notebooks that are eligible for an additional battery-only repair period. Service providers cannot order parts for Obsolete products,” the company said. Some of the iPhone models that have become Obsolete are – the iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, etc.
However, there’s still a couple of years left for the iPhone 6 to join the Vintage list and more for it to become Obsolete.
The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus lost software support in 2019 once iOS 13 rolled out. Earlier, when Apple launched the iPhone 6 devices, in an effort to keep up with the ever-expanding screen sizes of Android devices, the company decided to offer the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display and the Plus model with a 5.5-inch screen. This worked for Apple because the screens on the iPhone 6 series were bigger than the 4-inch iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C (which were launched in 2013).
Apple discontinued the iPhone 6 Plus in 2016, but the iPhone 6 still remained popular in certain regions like India till 2018. And this is also why the iPhone 6 Plus is joining the Vintage list this year, ahead of the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 will join this list by 2023.
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