Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica:
Apple told Ars that it always intended the iOS 14 security update option to be temporary. Essentially, people could have a short grace period while Apple worked out the worst of the new operating system’s early bugs, but you would always eventually have to upgrade to stay patched.
The features page for iOS 15 merely says that users can “continue on iOS 14 and still get important security updates,” with no mention of any sort of time limit, though this support page published after iOS 15’s release does mention that iOS 14 security updates will only be available for a vague “period of time.” This approach isn’t consistent with how Apple handles macOS, where the two previous versions of the OS continue to receive security updates in (albeit imperfect) lockstep with the latest macOS version.
When it was released, iOS 15 was given secondary billing as a version that was “also available” on the Software Updates screen. The assumption by many — including me — was that Apple might support the previous year’s version of iOS for about a year.
Alas, just four months later, Apple has already pulled the plug on iOS 14 updates. All the company had to do is be specific and clear in its communications with users still on iOS 14, but there was no notification; iOS 14.8.1, which was released in October, just one day stopped being unavailable. If something like degraded battery performance throttling created a big dent in Apple’s reputation, this sort of thing is chipping its paint: it may be easy to miss, but it also eats away at customers’ trust.