The support cycle of the original iPad Mini (3 years) was rather short compared to other devices, because the hardware inside governed the cycle, the iPad 2 managed 5 years. Compared to desktop and laptop PCs, this is a very low amount of life, primarily because of RAM limitations. Similar to some Android models (with locked bootloaders) you unfortunately cannot install a third party OS on the Apple hardware.
Original mini was launched in Oct 2012, and in Oct 2013 only the 16GB was on sale, which stopped in 2015. So the device had a 3 year on sale life. The Mini used the A5 SoC with 512MB of RAM. It launched with iOS 6.0.1 and was updated to iOS 9.3.5 (WiFi) and 9.3.6 (Cellular). The A5 SoC was also used by the iPad, also with 512 MB RAM. The A5 SoC stopped being supported with iOS 9.3.5 and so the iPad 2, and the original iPad Mini (which was the same machine in a smaller size) were both discontinued. The iPad 2 was launched in 2011, and the last update was in 2016, so it had 5 years life.
The Mac used to be more open, but now you are likely to only get 5 years life. Contrast with a laptop running Windows (which could run Win10) or Linux, which easily do 9 or 10 years life if you don't mind them slowing down.
I've just checked on an old Win 7 Pro SP1 system and find that is is offered Edge which is a bit of a surprise.The majority of the development work was complete when Win7 was end of life'd, so they completed the testing cycle and released.
edit - fix typo!
20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Edited by jchamier (Tue 01-Sep-20 19:58:10)