iPhone 5c
The iPhone 5c does not have access to the iOS 10.3 OTA update anymore. Reuters/Wong Campion

In a surprising turn of events, Apple just withdrew the iOS 10.3 over-the-air update for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c two days after the latest software update for iOS devices started rolling out. No reason was given for the retraction, but this could be related to a previous report claiming the Cupertino giant is likely to end support to the said iPhones along with the fourth-generation iPad.

On Wednesday, Apple Insider found out that iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c owners no longer have access to the OTA update for their devices. When Apple released iOS 10.3, the relatively dated handsets were among the smartphones that received the OTA update. The Apple-centric news site pointed out how this move doesn’t make sense given that there have been no complaints about problems with the software update since its launch. Moreover, no reports about failings due to the 32-bit processors in the two phones have been published online.

Owners of 2012’s iPhone and 2013’s iPhone 5c can still update their devices to the latest iOS 10 update, but they now have to download it through iTunes on their Mac or PC device. The over-the-air update was more convenient since it only required users to download the files needed for the update directly into their handsets prior to installation. Now they have to connect their phones to a computer with a Lightning cable just to obtain a copy of the updated operating system.

Previously, IBT reported about Apple possibly ending support for the iPhone 5, 5c and the fourth-generation iPad soon. A recent discovery in the iOS 10.3.2 beta that was released around the same day as iOS 10.3 shows that the next point update will only contain support for apps built on 64-bit technology. Because the three devices are housing chipsets with 32-bit process, it is assumed that they will not be receiving future updates anymore.

Apple’s iOS 10.3 is the latest major update for the iPhones, iPads and the iPad touch. It comes with a new Apple File System, the Find My AirPods feature and many other under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes. Users who plan to update their device to the new software update are advised to do an encrypted backup prior to installing iOS 10.3.