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Apple Now Considers iPhone 5c ‘Vintage’

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Does that mean everyone’s going to want one again?

Fad terminology has always been an extremely nebulous thing, even more so in the modern era. Technology, and its associated fads, move forward so quickly that what was once the brand new hotness becomes outdated and antiquated in just a few years. Case in point, Apple maintains an official “vintage” moniker for devices it no longer supports. The latest addition to this category is only seven years old!

The iPhone 5c, originally released in 2013 and discontinued in 2014 (2015 for the 8 GB model and 2016 in India), is now officially considered “vintage” hardware by Apple’s standards. When a piece of Apple hardware goes vintage, support for the device becomes much more limited. This means if you’re still using an iPhone 5c, then you won’t be able to receive detailed technical support for it, at least not over the phone. You can still take it to your local Apple store if you want to have it looked at, but don’t expect them to have a stockpile of spare parts for it.

According to Apple’s support page, vintage products are defined as “those that have not been sold for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago. Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple TV vintage products continue to receive hardware service from Apple service providers, including Apple Retail Stores, subject to availability of inventory, or as required by law.”

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Prior to 2018, you couldn’t even get tech support for vintage hardware in an Apple Store, but these days, Apple is a little more lenient on late adopters. However, Apple does have a firm stance on end-of-service; once the device in question is no longer being produced, you won’t be able to get tech support for it, period. Apple is planning to officially declare the iPhone 5c obsolete some time in 2022, so that’s going to be the cut-off point.