Looks Like End-of-Line for Original iPhone, iPod Touch

By  |  Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

At the end of today’s presentation, Jobs said that the full benefits of iPhone OS 4.0 would be available only to customers owning the iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation iPod Touch. For customers with an iPhone 3G or 2nd generation iPod Touch, the update would still be available, however functionality (including multitasking) would not work.

Left out was any mention of the original iPhone and iPod Touch, now both coming up on their 3rd anniversary. Looks like this means its the end of the line for these two devices…



7 Comments For This Post

  1. Russ Turley Says:

    Other than multitasking, did they mention if any of the other new features will be available on the iPhone 3G? It may be time to move to Android.

  2. Ed Oswald Says:

    See the line of stories below this one russ. Multitasking was the biggest of them all, no doubt.

  3. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > It may be time to move to Android.

    That is actually not going to help you get a software update. Generally speaking, there are no OS updates on Android. Verizon Droid got updated from v2.0 to v2.1, but most Android phones are born, live, and die with the same version of the operating system on them. The updates don’t come from some central Android repository as with Apple, they come from the carrier you got the phone from. They not only have no experience updating phones in a computer-style way, they have no incentive to do so. They are telling users who want updates to buy a new phone, even when that involves losing their subsidy. There are Android phones shipping today with v1.6 that will never be updated. If your Android phone is 2 years old or was purchased for $99 (equivalent to an iPhone 3G today), you especially have almost no chance of seeing an operating system upgrade.

    One thing to keep in mind is there is typically no advantage to using an iPhone once it’s past its 2 year working life. You can sell a 2 year old iPhone for $n, then buy a new iPhone for $n with new contract. For example, I sold my original iPhone for $210 when iPhone 3GS was available for $199. So if your iPhone 3G is out of contract this June, you can upgrade to iPhone OS 4 by getting new hardware and the only cost to you will be you have to sign another 2 year contract. (I think you have to pay sales tax on the full $500 phone also.)

    If you bought your iPhone 3G within the last year, then you chose the cheaper phone with fewer features than 3GS, and you should expect to always have fewer features than 3GS. You still got the best $99 phone. If you bought an Android phone you would be running v1.6 and it would never get v2. If you bought Windows Mobile, you would be running v6 and would never get v7 at all. The Windows Mobile phones that are shipping today have v6.5 and will never get v7.

    So Apple is going to add 90 new features to your iPhone 3G this June, and 100 new features to iPhone 3GS. That is still the best deal in the business.

  4. Michael Says:

    I’m disappointed about the lack of multitasking coming to my iPhone 3G. My 2-year contract is up in July, so I will be looking at my options fairly closely at that time. I’ll probably wait until September or so, so I can see what Windows Phone 7 options are available in that platform’s first generation.

    At this stage though, getting a new iPhone would be my third preference behind Android or WP7. I guess I will reserve proper judgement until Apple announces what’s in the new iPhone.

  5. freemacbook Says:

    Thats really too bad they’re not doing any more updates for the original iphone. I used to have one but recently upgraded to the 3G. But doesn’t seem to fair to the people who already spent 500$ on one like two years ago.

  6. David Hamilton Says:

    @Russ Turley and @freemacbook:
    Did you really get your phone on the basis of features that it didn’t have when you bought it, but you expected/hoped might be added afterwards?

    Also, I’m no expert on this, but my impression is that Apple have been the first (only?) phone vendor to systematically upgrade the phone software of existing users. Some Windows Mobile vendors like HP might have done it, but I hadn’t heard about it, and the state of Android is listed above by @Hamranhansenhansen.

    Thirdly, the telecoms industry runs on a 2 year obsolescence strategy. (Frankly I think creating these incredible pieces of technology and then binning them after 2 years is insane, but that won’t stop until we run out of raw materials such as rare earth metals. Then we’re screwed, of course!) Why would you expect the software to remain held back by obsoleted hardware when the entire industry (and the competition) has moved on?

  7. gargravarr Says:

    I have a 1st gen iPod Touch, but I’m not disappointed. I only have the 8gb and was thinking about upgrading. I will wait until I see what happens later in the year, when the upgrades generally happen.

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