Previously IBM had announced that support for the IBM i 6.1 and 6.1.1 versions of their operating system would end on September 30, 2015. On April 14 they announced a "service extension for IBM I V6R1":
IBM Software Support Services - service extension for IBM i V6R1 provides support for usage questions, problem determination assistance, and support for new fixes. With this service, IBM product specialists can help you simplify management of your IBM i 6.1 operating system as well as resolve issues more quickly and efficiently when they do happen, thereby minimizing risk of business disruption.
This will provide support for an additional 3 years of continued assistance and support, and "You get fixes for new problems".
Before signing up for the extended support you will have to be on Software Maintenance (SWMA) for IBM i. IBM does not give the cost of this extra service in the announcement, telling us:
For pricing information, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.
This announcement, 615-016, can be found here.
Why would IBM do this? Could it be that there are there so many companies still using IBM i 6.1 that it makes business sense for them to do this? Only IBM knows the real reason, you and I can only speculate.
Does it annoy anyone else that not even IBM can keep the release number consistent? I thought the "V6R1" format was no more and all releases from 6.1 onwards would be described as "6.1". If IBM cannot make up their minds it is only going to leave the rest of us confused as to what the proper format should be.