Apple to drop support for first-gen iPhone (2G)

MacStories reports that Steve Jobs has apparently responded to a random customer's email about support for his 2G iPhone. The response was the antithesis of every corporate response email regurgitated by a mail merge machine, and simply said:

"Sorry, no.

Sent from my iPhone"

This may seem hoax-ish, but the headers don't lie. Looks like this one came right from Apple HQ. Unless someone out there is really good at spoofing email headers and is intercepting Steve Jobs' email at the same time, this is the real deal. 

Email with headers

Image Source: MacStories

If you were holding back your wallet for an upgrade until now, the upcoming release of OS4 and the impending drop of support for your iPhone 2G should help ease your mind a bit.

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The difference between the 9 gazillion flavors of WinMo in different phones is that there isn't one single WinMo phone coming out every year that gets purposely outdone by the last. The iPhone is likened more to a yearly Madden where the business model is for you to be forced into buying the new version because you'll be left to device-only features (no online support after a year in some cases).

Good thing my contract with AT&T is up in june. And good thing i didnt upgrade to the 3G and the 3GS. my iphone 2g did everything except for a couple of features!.

I also wish Win phone 7 was available.

That would have definitely helped me make my mind up!

This is what you get when ya play Apples game. Sorry 2g users, time to upgrade or have a brick for a phone.

pjw said,
This is what you get when ya play Apples game. Sorry 2g users, time to upgrade or have a brick for a phone.
Nobody is saying that you won't be able to use the phone or it's services, they just can't be upgraded. This thread is full of stupidity.

tylershaw said,
Nobody is saying that you won't be able to use the phone or it's services, they just can't be upgraded.

What about when software is forced to be upgraded to iPhone OS 4.0, or be delisted from iTunes? It has not been stated yet, but I wonder if users will be able to run 4.0 software with an out-of-date OS (I'd go with 99.9% certainty: no)? Not to mention, the Apple way is to not provide security updates for older versions, which is nothing short of extortion, considering that iPod touch users must buy the updates to get them.

Something tells me that Apple will "protect" its users by preventing 4.0 software running on older software so that they don't get crashes from missing API calls, even if they aren't called (e.g., software simply recompiled with 4.0 and no changes). And, to be fair, it may actually call new APIs to wire itself into the new, updated ecosystem upon startup.

This freeze out successfully kills the first generation iPod touch and iPhone to everything except the iPod features, note taking, calendar(ing?), and the phone--no apps, which is what sold most people on the device. No bug fixes will be given to these users, nor will security updates for apps (I mentioned Apple's stance, not regular apps, earlier).

What does this mean? iPhone OS 3.x, a one year-old OS, is being deprecated and discarded. I realize the idea is that the old hardware is being deprecated, but anyone can point to the fact that the iPhone 3G (still being sold!) is just a new case on the iPhone 2G plus a 3G cell phone chip.

Probably the funniest thing is that while I do own a first generation iPod touch, and I do not particularly blame them from doing this because it is significantly slower than my iPhone 3GS, I do think it's amusing that the line is that it's so slow--so is the iPhone 3G! Finally, I must point to my long post above: some first generation iPod touch users will still have a less than two year-old device when its phased out--all the way until September, when the iPad gets the iPhone OS 4 update and all early adopters lose their freebie upgrade.

I'm disappointed, but also not surprised. The Apple warranty ("Apple Care") is the key to determining the expected lifetime of an Apple product. The iPhone and iPod touch can get up to two years of warranty, where as computers can get three years. This means that the iPhone 2G (the original iPhone for anyone confusing 2G with the 3G misnomer) will be three years old at the release of iPhone OS 4.

Of course, since the iPhone 2G and iPhone 3G (second generation iPhone) are basically the same phone, this is clearly a directed upgrade path.

With that said, a lot of people need to remember that the iPod touch only gets updated around September, meaning a lot of people buying Mac's in the summer (the Back To School special that they run every summer gives away a free iPod touch with the purchase of said Mac) have just barely 2 year old (if that) hardware that is about to go unsupported.

Slightly amusingly, I own a first generation iPod touch, Zune HD 16 GB (bought for Zune Pass), and iPhone 3GS. Now, I get to watch as both my iPod touch and Zune go unsupported well before their due time.

Apple is on the verge of a crucial stepping stone--they are about to lose a ton of semi-loyal customers once they realize that Apple sees them as bottomless wallets. This already happened to a large number of early adopting Intel MacBook customers (the Core Duo crowd), but I think only the highly technical realize the implications of not supporting 32 bit versions of Java, which Sun was willing to support. Similarly, Apple knocked out Bootcamp support for Windows 7 as-if those computers wouldn't work, ignoring the fact that they should have worked with Vista, and thus Windows 7 (with the same drivers). Now, after charging first generation buyers of the iPod touch $20 to get to iPhone OS 3.0 ($10 per OS upgrade), they are going to block us from upgrading, which means block us from getting new applications that require iPhone OS 4.0.

So, I _hope_ that Apple is on the verge of destroying a large segment of their growing business. I wonder how kindly most people will take to not getting cool stuff on their less than 2 year old, first generation iPod touch. I hope poorly. I am ****ed that the Zune HD is not getting supported--they have not completely shut out support for it, but they already shot down updated XNA, but may still include other .NET support. That is not the type of behavior I want to condone when I am spending over $100 on a product (and in the case of the Zune, it's barely over a half-year old). I am ****ed that Apple is steamrolling its customers like cows and charging a premium for it at the same time. The Apple tax is not a joke--their hardware is very good quality (ignoring their current specs, which still sport Core 2 Duos at the same price they sported June '09), but their software _support_ (and key to that is the longevity of support) is a joke.

Apple is going to have to earn my money. I am not going to buy another iPhone, and I will certainly not pay money for another iPod touch or Zune (Microsoft) in the near future. They need to start treating these products like they used too--old iPods used to be as good as they were until they died. If the hardware is good, I may still buy a MacBook Pro after the next update (if it ever happens) for iPhone development (ha, they've got me), but primarily as a Windows machine with great battery life, and importantly, American support (the Mac "Geniuses" are far from it, but at least they speak English!). I say this not to brag, but to point out that, without corporate changes, it will _certainly_ be my last Apple purchase--it will be new enough to be supported for as long as I use computers (minimum of 2.5 years). Beyond that, I wonder if Apple will still have an open development model on OS X as well, which I laughed at early on, but I can shrug off less every time Apple news comes out.

TrOjAn. said,

lol not relevant comment.. but i was thinking the same!


A non-relevant comment on a non-relevant comment! Let's see how far we can chain this.

rheostat said,

A non-relevant comment on a non-relevant comment! Let's see how far we can chain this.

Non-relevant comment? Count me in.

I think apple should be commended for how long they have supported the device. I've never got anywhere near that level of support from other manufacturers (Nikia and motorola being two i've dealt with). I'm sure some people will be upset but they've done a bang up job in an industry that is moving fast. I mean, keep in mind many oem's never provide propper wm update paths leading to people seeing unifficial ROMS and there are handsets running android 1.5 or 1.6 still.

Ohh and I would have thought that those using the phone on contract and who hadn't jailbreaked would have been updated by now or at least by the time the 4G hits anyway?

That doesn't account for everyone but I guess and some would like to continue to use it off contract. Still, I'd imagine the number of 2G users would be dropping as people get new handsets.

A supposed 'smartphone' released in 2007 with no 3G support should never have existed in the first place, how did they ever get away with that? Old news, I know, but still...

qdave said,
Apple is indeed evil...how hard is it to make an update for iPhone 2g...really!
Basterds

Move on. Why would Apple still support the 1st gen iPhone knowing that more and more features on the OS won't run on it. There's no story here other than to flame the anti-Apple hate.

asdavis10 said,

Move on. Why would Apple still support the 1st gen iPhone knowing that more and more features on the OS won't run on it. There's no story here other than to flame the anti-Apple hate.

Stop it. Not all of us have $ lying around to upgrade at will. Some of us on this forum don't make $400,000 a year. We don't drive BMW(s) or drink $10 espresso shots.

Edited by azure.sapphire, Apr 12 2010, 5:14pm :

bluarash said,

Stop it. Not all of us have $ lying around to upgrade at will. Some of us on this forum don't make $400,000 a year. We don't drive BMW(s) or drink $10 espresso shots.

And neither do I. But that doesn't mean that Apple has to keep supporting a 3 year old phone. There are very few phone companies that support phones that long. Some Android phones sold just last year can't be upgraded to the latest OS. But it's only such a crime because its Apple.

asdavis10 said,

And neither do I. But that doesn't mean that Apple has to keep supporting a 3 year old phone. There are very few phone companies that support phones that long. Some Android phones sold just last year can't be upgraded to the latest OS. But it's only such a crime because its Apple.

No, I think Palm's Web OS and Android are equally as guilty. These are no longer cellphone devices. They are mini computers. They require a maintenance cycle. At the very least bug fixes and limited support for the previous OS should be supported. You can't brick a device that cost someone a couple hundred to buy less then a few years ago because it is inconvenient to the larger picture of their profit margin. If this becomes the case... I smell as nasty class action lawsuit coming that will take about a decade in court and cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, to defend itself... again the same for Google Android providers, Palm and Windows Mobile.

bluarash said,

No, I think Palm's Web OS and Android are equally as guilty. These are no longer cellphone devices. They are mini computers. They require a maintenance cycle. At the very least bug fixes and limited support for the previous OS should be supported. You can't brick a device that cost someone a couple hundred to buy less then a few years ago because it is inconvenient to the larger picture of their profit margin. If this becomes the case... I smell as nasty class action lawsuit coming that will take about a decade in court and cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, to defend itself... again the same for Google Android providers, Palm and Windows Mobile.

There will be no lawsuit. Apple hasn't sold the 1st gen iPhone for almost 2 years now. And the 3.x.x software that those iPhones can run now works just as good as it did before Apple announced 4.0. What people have to understand is that the mobile phone market is moving much more rapidly than the desktop market. Phones are not going to be supported to 6 and 7 years. They won't be supported past 3 years. I see no issue here.

Edited by asdavis10, Apr 12 2010, 11:33pm :

bluarash said,

Stop it. Not all of us have $ lying around to upgrade at will. Some of us on this forum don't make $400,000 a year. We don't drive BMW(s) or drink $10 espresso shots.

So get a better job, or continue using a poor man's phone.
It's simple!

The HTC Desire I have my eye on for the end of the month will only cost me about $100.

Bit of a strange question really. If Apple said yes, they'd be lying. Support has to drop sometime. Email to Microsoft: "Will Windows 7 be supported in the future?"....Answer: "No."

PC hardware also becomes obsolete slower though if you ask me and new OS iterations can take years not 6 to 12 months.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
true, but remember that MS support for its OSs go on for muuuuch longer than 2-3 years.

So the HD2 that _just_ launched in America will be getting a Windows Series 7 ROM right?

Right?..

Guys?..

Edited by Vice, Apr 12 2010, 6:53pm :

Vice said,

So the HD2 that _just_ launched in America will be getting a Windows Series 7 ROM right?

Right?..

Guys?..

He's talking about the desktop OS. Not mobile. And yes the HD2 will be getting the update through a nice little group of devs =P

In terms of windows mobile, the OS upgrade has generally been left to the manufacturer to decide. WP7 is the first OS in which Microsoft has dictated the upgrade. As for the HD2, it released in October 09 for the rest of the world. It's not microsofts fault that America gets new phones late.

All support has to end sometime.

Edited by -Razorfold, Apr 12 2010, 6:48pm :

/- Razorfold said,

He's talking about the desktop OS. Not mobile. And yes the HD2 will be getting the update through a nice little group of devs =P

In terms of windows mobile, the OS upgrade has generally been left to the manufacturer to decide. WP7 is the first OS in which Microsoft has dictated the upgrade. As for the HD2, it released in October 09 for the rest of the world. It's not microsofts fault that America gets new phones late.

All support has to end sometime.

Well if math was not an opinion first generation iPhone support lasted much longer than the HD2 one.....
Btw I have a HD2 not an iPhone.

Foub said,
All Apple devices are disposable..... The very height of consumerism....

Because the phone will stop working as soon as a company stops providing software updates for it? Get real.

dagamer34 said,

Because the phone will stop working as soon as a company stops providing software updates for it? Get real.

It might. I see two problems:
1). Apple likely will be slow in releasing patches for the old platform. This could be an issue because you could get hacked easily. I don't think you can justify a new contract for security updates. Further, you have to remember that not everyone has an iPhone. Many have an iPod Touch and they are SOL.

2). Application developers always move with Apple. Within a month or two many, if not most applications will be requiring the newest OS. I use Docs To Go, Memento and two dozen other paid for apps. I am pretty sure that I will be locked in outdated versions. Again, not an issue if not for the security concerns. I don't believe vendors who are making $4.99 per app are going to be planning multiple versions of the same app.

Do you suggest I disable my cellphone and wifi and use it as a iPod?

Foub said,
All Apple devices are disposable..... The very height of consumerism....

Because WinMo phones get regular updates for years right?
I had several of them since the Motorola MPX200 and any of them got a lifespam as long as the iPhone G2.

Same, my old SE Walkman phone had problems day dot that never got fixed nevermind not only fixing problems but also improving the firmware.

Elliott said,
Most phone manufacturers don't even support their phones for this long. I don't see any surprise here.

Its only been 3 years, i have windows mobile phones from nearly 7 years ago that used to run Windows Mobile 2003 that now run Windows Mobile 6.5..........

Richard Hammond said,

Its only been 3 years, i have windows mobile phones from nearly 7 years ago that used to run Windows Mobile 2003 that now run Windows Mobile 6.5..........

with nearly all the features of the iPhone.

Richard Hammond said,

Its only been 3 years, i have windows mobile phones from nearly 7 years ago that used to run Windows Mobile 2003 that now run Windows Mobile 6.5..........

Did the OEM release the update for it, or did you get a cooked ROM for it? I have serious doubts that you got a 6.5 update from the OEM.

ManMountain said,
I'll just keep on using my aged iPhone 2G 16GB a little longer, till I opt for a non-Apple replacement.

That's what I'm doing with my 3G. If WP7 is as good as I suspect than, it won't be long before this phone goes out the window. Can't wait