Apple dropping support for iPhone 2G

Apple dropping support for iPhone 2G

Summary: Apple is dropping support for the original iPhone in OS 4.0.

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When a customer emailed Steve Jobs asking if Apple would support/update the iPhone 2G in the future, Jobs replied:

Sorry, no.

The move shouldn't come as a surprise considering that the original iPhone came out in 2007 and the launch of a new iPhone handset this summer will make the original a full three generations old. It takes development resources to build and test software to support older hardware and Apple would be better served putting those resources into advancing the platform -- rather than keep old and dying hardware afloat.

But make no mistake about it, Apple also wants to sell you a new iPhone every year or two.

Steve's one line missives have been quite frank and straightforward and the mail headers indicate that the email is from The Steve's personal iPhone. So there you have it folks, if you're still rocking a silverback iPhone this may be the summer to upgrade.

Tip: MacStories.net, Image: EveryiPod.com

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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17 comments
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  • Older devices get partial support

    I seem to recall Jobs saying that the older devices will be able to use
    "some" of the new features in 4.0, but that the older hardware cannot
    handle all of the new features. While Apple would love to sell you a new
    iPhone (or touch or iPad) I'm not surprised that the OS has gone past
    the capacity of the older hardware.
    Ken_z
    • So far

      the 3G won't be able to take advantage of multitasking... but supposedly will be able to use the other parts of the "tent pole" of the new OS. It'll be interesting to see if it will handle the rest of the 100+ features that were not mentioned in the keynote.
      athynz
  • Can't support 4.0 probably

    I believe those older phones simply cannot support the multi tasking. Their hardware is too slow. Its one way Apple keeps you upgrading but they are by far not the only ones who do this.
    Just watch they will do something like this with the iPad too. They shut out Power PC users to Snow Leopard too. This is what Apple does.
    jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
    • Yeah. How horrible for Apple to create software

      that takes advantage of advances in hardware. It's all a conspiracy to get
      you to buy the new hardware. And to make sure you do, they have a
      black helicopter with an operative hovering over every iPhone 2G in the
      world that will throw a kill switch the day iPhone OS 4 is released.

      Sheesh.
      frgough
  • Memory is a big thing...

    Not just RAM (something the original iPhones were sadly
    lacking) but ROM.

    I also remember reading the iPhone 3G/3Gs had 2X the
    capacity of Flash for the OS (not part of the memory for
    Apps, music, video). In short, it had more room for
    growth. Don't know if that is true but it would not surprise
    me.

    Likewise, it could have something to do with the different
    Graphics chips though I do not see that being the case
    since this does not seem to be a graphics intensive update.
    Bruizer
    • It's not the memory that leaves out the 2G

      The OS can divide the flash any way it wishes.

      The 2G has the same RAM and CPU as the 3G.

      There's no technical reason why the 2G couldn't have folders, combined inboxes, and almost everything else that the 3G is getting.

      It's a business decision, that's all.

      The big question is, will the iPad suffer the same fate. That's what columnists should be asking.
      kevindarling
  • Coming up on the 4th generation

    of course the original is likely going to die.
    My laptop is half way through it's fourth year,
    and I am starting to look around and shopping
    for a replacement.

    It is still as fast as the day I bought it, and
    it will likely run for another 2+ years just
    fine, but like with most things technological,
    you start pushing that fourth year, and well
    the likelihood that something is just
    eventually going to give out is increasing.

    I still get about 2 hours of battery life out
    of each of my two batteries, but I can tell
    that they are starting to weaken a little.
    Monitor isn't as bright as it used to be, but
    overall that Dell Inspiron e1505 was an
    excellent machine.

    My iPod touch will be entering it's third year
    in August, and I am looking forward to
    upgrading that to the 4th Generation of iPod
    Touch. I am that my 2nd Gen iPod touch has
    another couple of years of life in it, but that
    too is showing that it is starting to age.

    Like with any technology there are those who
    will always feel the need to buy the latest and
    greatest, but me, I just follow replacement
    cycles. So this Fall I will replace my iPod
    touch, and then early next year I will replace
    my laptop. And my desktop machine sometime this
    summer. I keep my older stuff around to use as
    burn boxes, boxes that I can do stuff on, and
    not worry about corrupting data I want, as for
    the iPod Touch, I will hand that down to my 10
    year old. If he were to drop it or loose it, it
    wouldn't be the end of the world.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • RE: Apple dropping support for iPhone 2G

    Just a comment on product support in electronics. The
    whole field of electronics, since the advent of personal
    computers, has been one of consumerism rather than
    capital investment. In capital investment, the category that
    PCs occupied initially at least in the eyes of the IRS, one
    would amortize a device out five years. Even the slow
    moving and witted IRS quickly realized that, in spite of
    paying $5 to $6 thousand dollars for a desktop PC (circa
    1983- 95) it would be eclipsed by a newer, faster, more
    productive machine in eighteen months or so (Moore's Law).
    dheady
  • Greedy buggers

    Are we surprised that Apple can't wait to drop the older iPhones and *force* all those fanboys to get the latest and greatest? Nope.

    On the other hand they figured anyone with a 2G iPhone barely has much battery life anyways. Batteries in iPhones can't be replaced [or at least by the typical user] and unless you are buying some cheap knockoff battery from China, it ain't worth replacing [once again *forced" by Apple].

    Apple is basically following the open source type support - let them fork over for a new iPhone every couple of years. How many open source OSs are supported longer than 2 years? 3 years?
    Gis Bun
    • And how many other smartphones

      are supported longer than 2 years? Three years?

      NONE
      athynz
      • Other phones get updates, just don't need them as much

        HTC is still putting out updates for their phones at least two years later. For example, the Touch (mid 2007) got a Bluetooth patch in late 2009.

        The fact is, other phones didn't need all the updates that the iPhone did. They came with folders, video recording, MMS, multitasking and a bunch of other functionality that took years to add to the iPhone.
        kevindarling
  • RE: Apple dropping support for iPhone 2G

    I have to ask why this is really news. How may other mobile hardware manufacturers or mobile software manufacturers for that matter support older devices?

    I was never able to legally update my old WM device from WM 5 and my Blackberry curve I was only able to upgrade to OS once and it was an incremental upgrade/ update not a full blown version change (i.e. from 2x to 3x). Sure I was able to bake a rom for my old WM device to have it run WM 6.1 and i was able to create a hybrid OS for my curve so it's running BB OS 5.0 but none of that was strictly legal... or at least not at all supported by the hardware manufacturers. So what is the difference here?

    So why all the hate for Apple for not supporting a device that made it through the original 1x OS to the latest 3x OS? They've already done more major upgrades for the OS for that device than any other mobile OS software company has... and yet Apple is the bad guy for not supporting the original iPhone...
    athynz
  • RE: Apple dropping support for iPhone 2G

    Iphone really does know what they are doing when it comes to getting people to buy their new "better" products.
    MikeElement
  • RE: Apple dropping support for iPhone 2G

    I reluctantly upgraded from my 2G to the 3GS
    having lived with a spiderweb cracked screen for
    over a year which didn't hurt the functionality
    but I couldn't justify a $200 screen replacement
    charge. I continue to use the old phone to play
    games and as an mp3 player. I hope the next
    software upgrade doesn't "brick" the old one.
    I was laid off in December and can't afford #299
    bricks, tyvm.
    RufusVS
  • RE: Apple dropping support for iPhone 2G

    Upgraded... I had ATT and BlackJack now I have got Verizon and a Motorola DROID ;P
    freakqnc
  • There most be millions of people that still use a iphone 2G

    There most be millions of people that still use a iphone 2G and don't want to get stuck into another plan.I have a 2G and a 3Gs and I find myself playing on my 2G alot more.It seems a shame to drop support and just think of all those apps that I can't buy now because of the new firmware.
    mobilenewzzz
  • There must be millions of people that still use a iphone 2G

    There must be millions of people that still use a iphone 2G and don't want to get stuck into another plan.I have a 2G and a 3Gs and I find myself playing on my 2G alot more.It seems a shame to drop support and just think of all those apps that I can't buy now because of the new firmware.
    mobilenewzzz