Apple is limiting eligibility for the iOS 16 software update to iPhones released in 2017, this means the iPhone 7 series and older models will not get to experience new features like a customizable lock screen.
The oldest iPhones to get iOS 16 are the iPhone 8 series and the iPhone X -- both released five years ago -- when Apple started to transition to the full-screen design that killed the home button in favor of swipe gestures.
Here's a list of eligible devices from Apple's iOS 16 website:
What's shut out: iPhone 7 series from 2016 and older models. That year was also important for Apple as the iPhone was finally rated for water resistance and the Airpods debuted with the death of the headphone jack.
The iPhone 7 Plus was also the first iPhone with two rear cameras and succeeded the ultra-popular iPhone 6 and 6S.
If you are still holding on to your iPhone 7, it may be time to look at upgrading, same for the 6S that was shut out of iOS 15 and the 6 which was ineligible for iOS 14.
What does it mean when an iPhone is ineligible for software updates? First, you'll be missing out on new features. More importantly, your handset may be on the road to obsolescence as app developers often limit compatibility to relatively newer models.
Think of online banking and e-wallet apps. Newer versions now offer biometric authentication via Face ID and fingerprint. Those are features that are absent on the iPhone 4S and older models.