Apple now considers its iPhone 5C to be a vintage device. Here’s what that means for owners, as well as what happens when it moves beyond vintage.
It’s time for Apple‘s iPhone 5C to go and live the rest of its life on a nice smartphone farm, now that the company has declared it a ‘Vintage Product.’ Admittedly, this is a seven-year-old phone and was the first budget model that Apple sold, launching at the same time as the flagship iPhone 5S. The more expensive iPhone from 2013 has not yet received the same classification. What the status means, and when this label is applied, might be useful for iPhone buyers to know.
The iPhone 5C was the most colorful of Apple’s early smartphones. The polycarbonate body was offered in green, blue, yellow, red and white. It was a bit thicker and heavier than the previous generation iPhone 5, but contained the A6 chip. The display was the same Retina resolution that was the headline feature of the more expensive iPhone 5S. The first lower-cost Apple phone hit a very nice middle ground with some of the top features, but not all, updated. The biggest cost concession was the plastic body that is now commonly associated with budget models. This was Apple’s first and only plastic iPhone.
Now that the iPhone 5C has been classified as vintage, owners of the aging device may wonder how that affects support from Apple. The good news is that the iPhone 5C can still receive service if needed from Apple Retail Stores and other Apple authorized service providers. However, the availability of parts that may be needed for repair is not guaranteed. Therefore, anyone still using this device, should take extra care. For example, a broken screen may be easily repairable, but the parts needed to fix the 2013 phone may be out of stock, eliminating the possibility.
When Do Apple Products Become Vintage?
Apple classifies its products as vintage if they have not been sold for at least five years, but not more than seven years. The iPhone 5C was not discontinued by Apple until 2015, so it has a couple of more years until it drops out of the vintage category. When they’ve been discontinued for more than seven years, Apple defines the products as obsolete. When a product moves to this final stage, there are no longer any official repair options available.
The reason the iPhone 5S is not yet on the vintage list is because it was not discontinued until 2016, so it will become vintage next year. Apple’s support of five to seven years is actually quite good. iOS updates are typically provided for an iPhone for five years also. Many other smartphone manufacturers offer three years of OS updates, although that varies. In general, Apple takes very good care of its customers, which is why it is usually near the top of the list when it comes to customer satisfaction. For iPhone 5C owners, using extra caution with this older phone is now probably a good idea, as is considering an upgrade to a newer model, such as the iPhone SE.
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