Pokemon Go players with an older model of iPhone are being forced to choose between upgrading their phones or losing Pokemon Go for good.
Yesterday evening, Niantic announced they were discontinuing support for a variety of Apple devices, including the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c, in an upcoming update for the game. "This change is a result of improvements to Pokémon GO that push the application beyond the capabilities of the operating systems on such devices," Niantic explained in a blogpost posted to Pokemon Go's website yesterday.
Affected devices include the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPad (4th generation), iPad (3rd generation), iPad mini, and iPad 2. The iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPad (4th generation) were all originally released in 2012. The iPhone 5 was discontinued in 2013, while the iPad (4th generation) was sold by Apple until 2014. None of the devices listed above support iOS 11, which Apple released in September 2017.
Pokemon Go will discontinue support for these devices on February 28th, 2018. Afterwards, Pokemon Go "may" not work on those devices, nor will players be able to access PokeCoins or use items from their bags.
Based on an April 2017 Business Insider report, 6% of iPhone users use either an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 5c. Another 4% of iPhone users continued to use even older models as of last year.
Pokemon Go is already experiencing a tumultuous 2018, as many players are growing frustrated with the controversial EX raid feature. While dropping support from older phones will probably affect only a small portion of Pokemon Go players, the announcement was not met with much enthusiasm from current players.