Apple yesterday said that macOS Sierra will support a small number of Macs than the past releases, striking models made before 2008 from the list. Although Apple did not post the system prerequisites of macOS Sierra on its site, the organization quickly uncovered the list in a slide amid its WWDC Monday.

The slide, which was on-screen for only two seconds, said that supported Macs include late-2009 and later MacBooks and iMacs, and 2010-and-later MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, Mac Minis and Mac Pros.

Craig Federighi, who heads macOS and iOS development, sped by the slide, saying just that

Sierra will be available to everyone, in the fall, over these systems.

as the list fleetingly showed up behind him.

Sierra’s support was smaller than the five past cycles of OS X, the previous name of the Mac’s operating system. 2011’s OS X Lion, 2012’s Mountain Lion, 2013’s Mavericks, 2014’s Yosemite and a year ago’s El Capitan kept running on the same set of systems:

  • iMacs from mid-2007
  • MacBooks as old as late 2008
  • MacBook Pros from as long back as late 2007
  • MacBook Airs from late 2008
  • Mac Minis from mid-2009
  • Mac Pro desktops from mid-2008 and later

Apple dropped support for all Mac models that debuted in 2007 and 2008, and additionally the heart of its notebook line MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros launched in 2009.

Apple did not offer a reason behind the limitation to newer Macs, but online analysts theorized about everything from the firmware and disk drive to the processor and graphics chipset.

Apple has already ended security update support for Macs still running any release of OS X older than Mavericks. The out-of-support versions accounted for around 12% of all Macs a month ago, according to analytics vendor Net Applications.

Before the release of macOS Sierra this fall, Apple will ship the final security update for 2013’s Mavericks, patching only Yosemite, El Capitan and Sierra going ahead. Apple routinely knocked older Macs off the supported list.

macOS Sierra will be available to the public for testing in July

macOS Sierra will be available to the public for testing in July. Users interested in grabbing the preview can register with Apple’s beta program on the organization’s site.


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