Is your iPhone about to become obsolete? What iOS 17 and the 3G switch off means for you

There’s never been a better time to be a mobile phone owner.

The latest tech is literally so good, and pretty much future proof, with maybe batteries being the only thing standing in the way of a device that can last at least 5 years, and of course, human damage — so make sure you’ve got it in a case and have a screen protector on it.

Luckily batteries can be replaced too for not too much of a cost.

This isn’t the case however for all phones. 

If you’ve got an iPhone 12 and above, you’re set for a good while yet, and even the iPhone 11s are still good for some time. 

Sadly, for some devices, like the iPhone X and iPhone 8s, their time has come. 

Whilst we are all against forced and planned obsolescence, the fact of the matter is the last software required to keep up with all those apps is pretty demanding, and some hardware just can’t keep up. 

So naturally, some devices will no longer be able to receive updates and work as well. This is the case with iOS 17.

When Apple releases iOS 17 later this year, the update will add Contact Posters, FaceTime improvements and a new journaling app, to name a few. We covered the most exciting updates over on our TikTok

Apple unveiled the update alongside new Macs, various software for all Apple devices and the company's first augmented reality headset called Vision Pro.  Here are all of the iPhone models that will receive iOS 17 when it's released in the fall.  

Which iPhone models will get iOS 17?

According to the iOS 17 landing page on Apple's website, the following iPhone models will get the update when it's available:

It's a long list, but also one that leaves the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X behind. That means if you currently have those iPhone models, iOS 16 is your last major OS update. You will likely receive security updates for the near future, but any new features that are part of iOS 17 or later won't come to your phone. 

Read: The best iPhone models right now

But, there's some good news. By the time iOS 17 is available, Apple will have announced the iPhone 15 lineup and you can either pick a new device or find a deal on a slightly older iPhone.

The Big 3G switch off

All across the UK, since February, mobile networks have been winding down 3G services to make way for further improvements to 4G & 5G networks. This is exciting times for customers, meaning super fast data for everyone but poses some small challenges along the way too, meaning some customers on older phones will potentially get cut off.

Why is this happening?

Since 3G launched in the UK all the way back in 2003, technology has moved on a lot— with 4G and 5G technology delivering much greater performance than possible with 3G. Whether it’s making calls, sending texts or getting online on the go, you can expect a greater and more reliable service on 4G or 5G.

Back in 2021, the Government announced the shutdown of 3G networks by 2033 at the latest. By beginning to switch off 3G now, you can expect more time and investment to go into making our 4G and 5G networks the best they can be, which should provide a higher quality experience for customers.

What does this mean for you?

Luckily, most modern phones are suitably equipped with 4G and/or 5G technology, so we estimate that the 3G switch off will only impact a small number of our customers. If you have a device capable of 4G data and 4G Calling (also known as VoLTE), the good news is that you’re all set!

How do I know if my phone is 4G-VoLTE compatible?

To check this, you will need your device to hand and an internet connection. SMARTY have put together a handy guide to Switching off 3G for full instructions and details of what’s required to receive SMARTY service, which is powered by Three

I don’t have a 4G-VoLTE compatible device, what do I need to do?

If your current device is not 4G VoLTE-compatible, you’ll need to upgrade to one that has this ability to continue using most networks. If we think you don’t have a 4G VoLTE-compatible device, your mobile carrier should contact you at least 30 days before the 3G switch-off date in your area so that you have plenty of time to find a replacement.

Luckily for you, Reboxed® has plenty of devices that will make the perfect fit, starting from as low as £149 with our iPhone SEs which are both 5G ready and compatible with the latest upcoming iOS 17 launch expected in September.

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