I was wondering if it was possible to virtualize an iPhone's OS on my Mac. Maybe through VMware or another application?


The only way I have heard of is to download the iPhone SDK, it comes with a iPhone emulator.

  • 1
    The iPhone simulator is not really an iPhone emulator: it translates iPhone API calls to OS X API, but it doesn't let you run programs compiled for the iPhone on OS X (for instance binaries compiled for the simulator are x86 binaries, not arm binaries). (This is completely different from the Android emulator, which consists of an ARM emulator running pretty much the same software you'd have on a real phone.) There are also third-party “iPhone emulators”, which are in fact only for web applications (they're just web browsers with the right skin). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Oct 3 '10 at 21:02

I can't give an authoritative answer but my feeling is no, for reasons both technical and legal. The iPhone uses an ARM processor which has an instruction set that is not compatible with the Intel x86 instruction set which VMWare et al provide virtualization of.

Further to this, you would likely need to virtualize components other than the processor in order to support many of the APIs exposed by iPhone OS. Technically speaking, all of these issues are probably surmountable, but products such as VMWare are not likely to support this.

IANAL, but to the best of my knowledge it would be against Apple's licensing to execute the iPhone OS code on platforms other than those approved by Apple, virtual or otherwise


Apples idea is that you would use xCode, which allows you to simulate iOS devices like the iPhone by default (although it only allows specific versions unless you have a phone with the desired OS).

for Windows, there is Xamarian Studio Community which works with Visual Studio. it lets you write iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps in C#, but I know very little about it.

in xCode, open the application. Navigate: Window -> Devices (Shift+Command+2), then pick the device (Ie. iPhone 7 iOS 10.1) xCode device selection menu - xCode 8.1

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