Apple no longer signing iOS 15.3, stopping downgrades from newer iOS 15.3.1 firmware

Apple last week publicly released iOS & iPadOS 15.3.1 with bug fixes and security improvements for iPhones and iPads alike. Consequently, we knew it wouldn’t be long until Apple closed the signing window for the older iOS & iPadOS 15.3 firmware.

Downgrade iOS 15

That’s precisely what happened Thursday afternoon, a move by the Cupertino-based tech giant that hinders intentional firmware downgrades by iPhone and iPad users who wish to move off of the latest firmware.

Firmware downgrades are more popular among jailbreakers and prospective jailbreakers than they are among ordinary iPhone and iPad users, but that’s not to say it’s uncommon.

While jailbreakers and prospective jailbreakers rely on firmware downgrades to run pwnable firmware — that is, version(s) of iOS or iPadOS that can be exploited for jailbreaking — and this is the chief reason why we recommend that those folks stay on the lowest possible firmware and avoid software updates.

Ordinary iPhone users, on the other hand, depend on firmware downgrades for something totally different, in that new updates can occasionally break expected functionality, leaving the user with no choice but to revert to a previous working firmware in the interim until Apple issues an official patch. Infamous examples include when iOS 14.7 broke the ability to unlock paired Apple Watches with an iPhone’s Touch ID authentication and when iOS & iPadOS 13.2 imposed overly-aggressive app backgrounding management.

Apple has a lot to gain by unstinting older versions of iOS and iPadOS — not only can it ensure that users are taking advantage of the latest features and security patches, but it also allows the company to please shareholders by bragging about new firmware adoption, coerced as it may be…

It’s possible to see what version(s) of iOS or iPadOS are being signed for your device(s) via the handy website, and of course, you can download any firmware file you might need from our dedicated Downloads page.

Are you sad to see that Apple is no longer signing iOS or iPadOS 15.3? Let us know in the comments section down below.