How old is iPhone 5?

The iPhone 5 is Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone model. It was unveiled on September 12, 2012 and first released on September 21, 2012. As of January 4, 2024, the iPhone 5 is over 11 years old.

How old is iPhone 5?

Key Details and Release Timeline

  • Unveiled by Apple at a media event in California on September 12, 2012
  • Pre-orders began on September 14, 2012
  • First release date on September 21, 2012 in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the UK
  • Global launch and additional country releases on September 28, 2012
  • Supported by Apple with software updates until iOS 10 in 2016
  • Considered a vintage/obsolete product by Apple as of 2020

The iPhone 5 was an important release for Apple as it introduced several major new features compared to the previous iPhone 4S model. This included a taller 4-inch display, lighter and thinner industrial design with an aluminum body, faster LTE wireless connectivity, improved cameras, and Apple’s new Lightning connector.

It was well-received and reviewed positively compared to competing smartphones of the time. The iPhone 5 set sales records in its initial launch periods. It remained a crucial product for Apple even after the iPhone 5S and 5C were released a year later in September 2013.

Based on its unveiling date of September 2012 and typical 5-6 year lifespan of Apple smartphones with support and software updates, the iPhone 5 is over 11 years old as of early 2024. For current and prospective owners, the iPhone 5 is considered vintage/obsolete by Apple and does not qualify for any hardware service or repairs directly from Apple.

Key Features and Specifications

To understand the technical details and capabilities of this 11+ year old device, below are the main features and specifications of the iPhone 5:

  • Display: 4-inch IPS LCD with 1136 x 640 resolution (326 ppi pixel density)
  • Dimensions: 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm, 112 grams
  • Processor: Apple A6 system-on-chip with dual-core 1.3Ghz CPU and triple-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU
  • Memory: 1GB RAM, 16/32/64GB internal storage options
  • Rear Camera: 8MP, f/2.4 aperture
  • Front Camera: 1.2MP
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p at 30 fps
  • Cellular Connectivity: 4G LTE, 3G DC-HSDPA
  • Other Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Battery: 1440 mAh, up to 10 hours talk time
  • Sensors: Three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Water Resistance: None (added in iPhone 7 and later models)
  • Biometric Authentication: None (added in iPhone 5S as Touch ID)
  • Lightning Connector: 8-pin (switched from classic 30-pin Dock connector)
  • Included Accessories: EarPods, power adapter
  • Operating System: iOS 6 to iOS 10 (vintage support only on later iOS releases)

As you can see from these details, while the iPhone 5 was highly advanced in 2012, its specifications are considered extremely dated by 2024 standards even amongst low and mid-range smartphone models. However, as a vintage device, it still offered innovations that paved the way for future iPhone design and features.

Current Ownership and Use Considerations

If you currently own or plan to own an iPhone 5 in 2024, there are some important limitations to consider:

  • No longer receives software updates or full iOS support from Apple
  • Lacks connectivity and cellular bands for latest networks
  • Subpar battery lifespan degraded over years of use
  • Security vulnerabilities from outdated software environment
  • Limited app compatibility and functionality from App Store
  • Repairs only possible through third parties, no Apple service
  • Mediocre cameras, storage, RAM, and display quality by today’s standards

While usable for basic functions like calls, texts, music, and internet access, an iPhone 5 will be extremely limited for modern apps, games, augmented reality, photography, payments, connectivity, and speed. Upgrading to a newer iPhone model would enable much improved overall performance.

As of 2024, owning an iPhone 5 is mainly beneficial for nostalgia or collection purposes rather than daily use as a modern smartphone. It offers an interesting look back at mobile technology from 2012 but should not be expected to keep up with flagships from recent years.


  • iPhone 5 first launched in September 2012, making it over 11 years old as of early 2024
  • Considered the 6th-generation iPhone from Apple before the iPhone 5S
  • Introduced major new features like 4-inch display, LTE, Lightning connector
  • Current specifications dated even for budget phones – only 1GB RAM, 8MP camera, etc.
  • No longer supported by Apple with updates, repairs only possible via third-parties
  • Usable for basic functions but lacks compatibility/speed for modern apps and uses
  • Primarily novelty appeal rather than reliable daily smartphone as of 2024


In summary, the iPhone 5 represented an iconic milestone for Apple but is now a vintage device that is over 11 years old as of 2024. With its hardware specifications and software support long outdated but still bearing nostalgia and novelty, the iPhone 5 occupies a unique place in mobile technology history for early adopters of smartphones. While usable on a limited basis for original owners, acquiring and expecting full-range performance is unrealistic compared to what even low-cost new phones can accomplish currently. As Apple and the iPhone product line continues advancing into the future, the aged but groundbreaking iPhone 5 now represents a relic of hardware and features from 2012 more than a practical smartphone choice in the 2020s.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What year did iPhone 5 first release?
A: The iPhone 5 was first released in September 2012. It is Apple’s 6th-generation iPhone model succeeding the iPhone 4S.

Q: How old is an iPhone 5 in years?
A: As of 2024, the iPhone 5 is over 11 years old since its original unveiling and release by Apple in September 2012.

Q: Can an iPhone 5 still be used if I buy one secondhand?
A: Yes an iPhone 5 can technically still be used as a basic smartphone in 2024 but with limited app compatibility, connectivity, speed, and feature support since Apple no longer issues updates for it.

Q: What versions of iOS can run on the iPhone 5?
A: The iPhone 5 originally shipped with iOS 6. It remained compatible up through iOS 10 which was its last supported major iOS version released by Apple in 2016.

Q: Does the iPhone 5 have wireless charging?
A: No, wireless/Qi charging was not introduced until the iPhone 8/X models released in 2017. The iPhone 5 relies on wired charging only through its Lightning port connector.

Q: Can I get my iPhone 5 repaired at an Apple Store?
A: No, as a vintage/obsolete device, the iPhone 5 is no longer eligible for any hardware service or repairs directly from Apple retail stores or authorized service providers.

Q: How fast is the iPhone 5? Does it feel very outdated today?
A: Yes, with a dual-core 1.3Ghz A6 chip, only 1GB RAM, and iOS software from 2012, the iPhone 5 feels quite outdated and sluggish compared to most modern smartphones in typical use. Simple apps may function alright but games, cameras, and more intensive uses will perform poorly.

Q: What’s the best way to still use an iPhone 5 if I have one?
A: Mainly use built-in apps like Messages, Music, Calendar, etc. that rely less on processing power. Avoid updating apps or games from App Store that may no longer be compatible. Stick to WiFi instead of LTE for connectivity. Reset to factory settings if device feels too slow from outdated software.

Q: Should I buy an iPhone 5 in 2024 as an actual phone or just as a collector’s piece?|
A: Definitely only buy an iPhone 5 for novelty, collectability or nostalgia purposes rather than expecting to reliably use it as your daily smartphone. Any use will be very limited and a newer iPhone or budget Android will be far better options for typical mobile needs.

Q: How does the iPhone 5 display and camera quality compare to today’s phones?
A: Very poorly – the iPhone 5’s small 4-inch 326ppi screen and 8MP rear camera were decent quality in 2012 but are massively outdated based on even entry-level smartphone displays and cameras today, lacking sharpness, resolution, processing, sensors, etc.

Q: What’s the battery capacity and lifespan for iPhone 5?
A: 1440 mAh capacity which provided up to 10 hours of talk time when new. But after over 11 years, batteries are degraded losing maximum capacity and ability to hold charge.

Q: Can I use social media apps like TikTok or Instagram on the iPhone 5?
A: Most likely not – the iOS software is too outdated to install the latest versions of those apps if available at all anymore for the iPhone 5 app environment. Social media apps also require better cameras and processing than the iPhone 5 contains.

Q: Is the iPhone 5 worth any resale value given its age?
A: Maybe a small amount to collectors but not to typical smartphone buyers. Mainly just the nostalgia/novelty value rather than actual usable device value. Unused boxes may sell for more than phones alone to some.

Q: What are signs my iPhone 5 battery needs to be replaced?
A: Very short battery lifespan per charge, device shutting down randomly even with charge remaining, device feels warm while doing little activity. Given the phone’s outdated nature though, replacement batteries harder to find and replace vs newer iPhone models.


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