The iPhone 5 may be 6 years old at this point, but for many Apple fans this remains one of the greatest iPhone models ever built, and a genuine classic.
Sadly, there’s a bit of bad (if predictable) news from Apple: According to the company’s latest update of “vintage” and “obsolete” devices, the iPhone 5 is now considered too old for Apple repairs.
As I wrote in my recent article, ranking every iPhone Apple has ever built:
“[The 2012 iPhone 5,] the first iPhone produced entirely under Tim Cook’s leadership, took what worked about the iPhone 4 and added to it. It was thinner and lighter, while also sporting a taller display that approached a 9:16 aspect ratio.
In terms of new features, the addition of LTE support stood out. Some folks were initially annoyed at the replacement of the 30-pin connector with the new Lightning charger, but we’re totally over that now! A terrific iPhone in every way.”
No more repairs
The official difference between “vintage” and “obsolete” largely comes down to differing legal requirements around the world, where laws require differing levels of support for older products. For most places, however, these terms are largely interchangeable in terms of what it actually means for customers.
As Apple notes on its official website, “Owners of iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac products may obtain service and parts from Apple or Apple service providers for 5 years after the product is no longer manufactured — or longer where required by law … Apple has discontinued all hardware service for obsolete products with no exceptions. Service providers cannot order parts for obsolete products.”
The iPhone 5 was officially discontinued on September 10, 2013 after the announcement of the iPhone 5s and 5c. The iPhone 5c did feature virtually the same internal hardware as the iPhone 5, but — if we’re reading the rules correctly — it seems that the iPhone 5 is unlikely to be eligible for repairs in most places.
Unfortunately, with the abandonment of the iPhone SE, this has been a bit of a sad year for fans of the iPhone 5 form factor. While the iPhone 5s, 5c and iPhone SE will be supported for repairs for a bit longer, this is one more step toward the end of the road for one of the greatest ever iPhone designs.
Of course, there are always independent third-party repair shops you could try…