back to article Jobsian email axes early-iPhone support

With the release of iPhone OS 4.0, the iPhone 2G will demoted to unsupported status, according to no less an Apple expert than Steve Jobs himself. As reported Tuesday by MacStories, a tweet from a Twitterer with the handle of ven000m emailed His Steveness with one simple question: Hey Steve! is Apple supporting/updating the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    3G next year then?

    So presumably (using same timescales) the 3G will be out of support this time next year. Yet can still be bought today, with a 24 month contract.

    I don't know why I'm even surprised.

  2. Code Monkey

    'Droid for me then

    All the more reason to vote 'Droid at upgrade time.

    1. baswell

      Because Android makers are such great supporters

      @Code Monkey: Yeah, because HTC, Sony, Motorola and other handset makers have such a great track record of supporting older devices! And no, Android being open doesn't mean you can upgrade your devices yourself.

      Have a look at: alomst 6 months ofter the 2.1 release, the vast Majority of devices are stuck on 1.5. Heck, a major Sony phone released just a few weeks ago runs 1.6!

      When it comes to older device support, few consumer electronics companies have a better track record than Apple.

      1. Skrrp


        Yep, because cyanogen and the other home cookers, they don't exist dude.

        The Android community is so vibrant that the actual manufacturers are small noise. With Google recognizing this and supplying a simple command to unlock rather than trying to fight the community it just makes it easier to stay current.

        Open vs closed culture? Viva home cooking.

      2. Benny

        It's all good

        "And no, Android being open doesn't mean you can upgrade your devices yourself."

        Um, pretty sure my Hero is running 2.1 - actually, it is.

        Same as the iPhone, if the hardware can support it, then jailbreak/root the phone and upgrade away. There is quite an active community of custom ROMs for Android phones.

        Usual rules apply - ya know - turn of SSH etc unless you actually need it.

      3. Chris Pearson

        Comming soon

        A lot of 1.5/6 phones are getting 2.1 as we speak. Hero released last week, and most other HTCs are due it or have had it. Moto is rolling it out as well.

        That said I suspect this is the last major update I can expect. Seriously considering an iPhone next time around.

    2. Scott Mckenzie

      Err.. it's about power!

      The same reason the 3G cannot support the multi tasking module... it's not powerful enough.

      You can't reasonably expect Apple to come up with new features that work on a machine 4 years old and on the current hardware - things evolve!

      Your iPhone 2G won't suddenly stop working, but it won't get any new features or operating systems... as someone else mentions how many other companies evolve a handset even once after they first release it - I can't think of (m)any!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Not true

        The iPhone 2G has same internal specs (bar 3G radio) as the iPhone 3G. What the 3G can do, the 2G can do too.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yes, because long-term support and OS upgrades of Android phones have worked out so well, even during its relatively short life span to date....

    4. chr0m4t1c

      I have no idea why you're surprised either

      I have an HTC Touch Cruise that's just coming up to two years old. It shipped with WM6 on it and HTC made 6.1 available last August - over a year after it came out.

      As far as I can tell they're not going to make 6.5 available.

      Apple have offered quite a bit more support for the original 2G phone than most manufacturers do for their phones.

      So what if you can buy two year old hardware on a contract that will take you beyond it's support life-span? As far as I can tell most mobiles on the market today are pretty much out of support after they've been on the market 12 months.

      Do you think service contracts should only cover the period that the device is in support? Should you only be able to get the 3G on a 15 month contract? Should you not be able to get a Nokia N95 on contract any more?

  3. DavCrav Silver badge

    When will people learn?

    Jobs is a git.

  4. Maverick

    as they say over the pond


  5. Mark 65 Silver badge


    Is there a support roadmap for these devices or are all owners to be f*cked at a whimsical time of Mr Jobs choosing? Personally I think purchasers have a right to know how long their device will be supported for as these aren't really phones any more they're mobile computers with a phone capability.

  6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    OS support for older systems

    Yeah... Apple of old really kept compatibility going, I mean, they were up to System 7 through most of the 1990s (up through 1997) and that would run on basically any Mac you could cram a few MB of RAM and a hard drive in to (i.e. all but the first 1 or 2 models). So, over a 10 year span. MacOS8 and 9 got bigger, and dropped support for a few more.

    Then there's OSX. The initial version of OS X already dropped support for quite a few (pre-G3) Macs that could have plenty of RAM and everything to run OSX, but were artificially locked out. They would have been very slow at running it though, the initial OSX 10.0 was very slow compared to 10.3 or so. Up through 2007, but were still supporting back through G3s (if it had "built-in" USB and firewire), this was about 7 years official support. This lockout could then be gotten around by running ExPostFacto. Starting 2007 they started cranking up requirements, 10.5 needed a G4-866 or so (dropping support for 5 year old machines.) Again, ExPostFacto gets around it -- although this version did need a G4 processor (10.5 is built assuming an Altivec processor). 10.6 dropped support for anything that's not Intel, that's 4 year old models. I do believe this might be the subtle hint to buy a newer iPhone. In addition, I will not be in the least bit surprised to find iPhone OS 4 runs perfectly on the older phones, and it's just not being pushed to them.

    This is kind of interesting, because Jobs was dominant at Apple throughout the FIRST period of supporting machines "to the bitter end", but ALSO the present period of diminishing support for older systems. Really I have no further comment... Well I guess one.

    I do think, as a flagship, the Droid will get updates of Android as long as possible. HTC phones tend to get relatively long term updates as well. Other Android phones? Hard to say.. I mean, some are shipping now with old 1.x versions, and no real indication they will necessarily be updated.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Well come on...

    How else are they going to sell the next version if they keep supporting the old ones.

    "Sell 'em, forget 'em, sell 'em again" has always been the Apple motto.

    *pats 3 years old N95 which had a firmware update a couple of months ago*

  8. windywoo
    Jobs Horns

    But will developers stop supporting it?

    Are they going to aim for the features of the 3G or the newer 3GS features coming in OS4? Or perhaps they don't want to ignore the numerous 2G handsets out there already.

    1. Thomas 18
      Thumb Down

      Im sorry....

      This app requires the API function iAd.commenceSpamfest() which is not currently supported by your handset, please update to a newer model Jesus.

    2. Oz

      Re: Well come on

      Er, perhaps by adding new features that people want?

  9. Gary F 1

    Who else???

    I'll re-state the obvious question that no-one seems to want to answer, probably because it totally removes any validity of the Apple / iPhone bashing going on here.

    When did Motorola, HTC, LG, Nokia etc ever add NEW features to a 2 year old product?

    When did they even add NEW features to a 1 year old product?

    When did they even update or fix the existing features beyond a year?

    Pretty much never.

    Apple has not only continuously supported the launch features, they have repeatedly ADDED NEW FEATURES over the last 2 years.

    Want a new feature on a Nokia / Motorola? Buy a new phone - that's how they've always been.

    And don't start with that Android crap. They haven't been in the market long enough to prove any long standing support or added value to the platform, so anything stated about its longevity is merely conjecture and fanboy speculation at this stage.

    But then, why talk about a proven, immensely popular items great, existing track record when you can compare it to persistantly abandoned hardware or speculation.

    This is the Reg after all.

    1. Rob Crawford

      Arguing from a position of ignorance

      Obviously you are talking about a different Nokia as I have had nokia phones which have received updates for considerably more than 2 years (N95 being one example)

      NEW FEATURES (I can shout too, impressive isn't it) for the iPhone, so the firmware updates add extra hardware too?

      Oh actually just cut & paste and, bug fixes, app updates & fluff, they never for example fixed the bluetooth to actually do anything useful.

      Sorry I was mistreated right through the 90s by Apple;

      every motherboard used a different pinout on the RAM modules so you couldn't upgrade and bring your RAM with you).

      Being unable to transfer your NuBus cards over to your new machine

      Trying to force people to use only Apple branded SCSI drives.

      Apple have a long and vernerable reputation for being money grubbing shits.

      Like it or loathe it the iPhone is just one of a long list of make it obsolete (in the 90s 3 months was enough) and force your customers to buy again, again, again (repeat ad nauseam)

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @ Gary F(ail) 1

      Actually, HTC do release OS upgrades to their Windows handsets. And they are working on releasing Android 2.1 for the Hero and Magic any week now.

      But then, why bother checking for facts that might conflict with your Jobsian worldview?

      You are just another iTard after all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Attack the idea...

        >"Actually, HTC do release OS upgrades to their Windows handsets. And they are working on releasing Android 2.1 for the Hero and Magic any week now."

        Trouble is that this isn't filtered through to the consumers that generally by their handsets through a 3rd party as part of a contract. It's worth remembering that not everyone (including, I'd image, most geeks) want's to go through the rigmarole of installing 'updates' over the operators pre-installed one (as an aside, this has become a deal breaker for me--any mobile OS that allows operators to meddle with them is far more flawed than the inability to use your own ringtone for sms messages). I suppose that doesn't hold with your stereotype though. You made a valid point, but because you felt the need to resort to an carpet ad hominem attack to prove your point, then you point is blunt. What's your world view? Ballmanian or the contemptible Stallmanian? Whatever, you're entitled to it, as others are to theirs. Grow up.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Actually, HTC do release OS upgrades to their Windows handsets..


        My 4 year old HTC windows handset got 1 update 3 months after I bought it - to turn on GPS which was an advertised feature of the phone. Since then, there has been no more updates... certainly no upgrades to newer versions on Windows Mobile.

        As for Android, do Google charge the handset makers to use it? I suspect this may be why HTC is more forthcoming with updates for their existing Android handsets (even if it does take some time for them to make it available).

        Support ends for all products eventually - as any project manager will tell you it's a financial necessity. Apple are not doing anything out of the ordinary by cutting support for the iPhone 2G, if anything they've provided pretty good support (admittedly they've mainly been adding features that should have been there at the beginning).

    3. Mage Silver badge


      Well, the 1st iPhone *DOES* multitask, just not 3rd party. Much lesser chips can run a RTOS.

      The iPhone OS4 is only what the original should have been. Most of apple's new iPhone releases are to my mind just service packs.

      It's still overpriced bling for people more interested in posing and looking at stuff than making phone calls. It's not a smart phone, it's an iPod that can make phone calls.

      Just like my Archos 605 wifi is NOT an Internet tablet, but a personal video player that happens to have an Opera browser (with Widgets and flash (8?) without ever crashing).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HTC hero mythical android 2.1 update

    I haven't yet seen a verified response from HTC about the android 2.1 upgrade for the Hero. Lots of people seem to have made up emails from HTC and had them posted all over the net as "evidence" but no upgrade yet.

    So now I've got an iPhone 2G and a Hero, both of which are probably stuck with their current bugs and no real future.

    And my older Nokia N800 that downloaded a couple of updates the other day... and I can add SD cards to it and USB devices. (external keyboard for example, ssh installed without jailbreaking etc...)

    What a shame Nokia's "app store" is a shambles.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    @Who else???

    Well the Nokia N79's a year and a half old and got a firmware upgrade in January.

    The N90 series phones regularly get upgrades and look how long some of those have been out.

    "But then, why talk about a proven, immensely popular items great, existing track record when you can compare it to persistantly abandoned hardware or speculation."


  12. Anonymous Coward

    Email headers - giving the game away?

    Two comments in one:

    1) Seems very early to drop support of the early (non-3g) iPhones, so agree we probably ought to have some warning of the expected end-of-support timescales especially for Apple devices, as they are harder to support via non-Apple routes.

    If Apple drop support for iPhone 3g 'too early' I'll take that as warning not to buy future Apple phones (ever) again ;-)

    2) The email headers (shown in the linked image) appear to give the game away - for anyone who still doesn't know the email address Steve J is using for his iPhone.

  13. Jolyon Ralph

    Re: Err.. it's about power!

    "The same reason the 3G cannot support the multi tasking module... it's not powerful enough."

    Er wrong. And if you meant 2G instead of 3G, you're also wrong. Jailbroken iPhones and iPod Touches of all generations have been using multitasking with normal apps perfectly for years.

    Now it's always possible that Steve may have bolloxed things up deliberately (compare with him not allowing video recording on the 3G, despite the fact that, yet again, jailbroken 2G and 3G iphones can do video recording). So we'll wait and see what version 4.0 does. Or at least I'll wait until it's jailbroken before I try it.

  14. Craig 12

    Really new 'features' ?

    Rolling out iphone OS4 is cool, but lest we forget every other new Apple feature is some BS that should have been there from the start. OS4 lets you... change your menu background image!

    This is a phone where you still cannot customise the SMS tone either. Fingers crossed for OS5.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Utterly ridiculous...

      >"...BS that should have been there from the start." Says who exactly?

  15. jubtastic1

    The Mother of all non Issues

    Anyone with a 2G is well out of contract and can just get the new one as a free upgrade in June.

    Which is what I'll be doing, assuming it holds out a few more months, WiFi's dead, and there's a band of dead pixels on it's 3 year old screen, Battery is still good though.

  16. Giles Jones Gold badge

    About time

    It's about time the 2G was left behind. It nearly three years old now, nobody who has one will be on a contract. It's had a good run, OS 1.0 all the way up to OS 3 (and patches). What other handset makers gives you *two* major upgrades?

    With WinMo you're lucky to get a few bug fixes, you can only get the latest features by buying a new phone or installing a homebrew ROM (breaking licence agreements and invalidating your warranty).

    You don't really want development held back by an older device.

  17. Jess

    perhaps google should...

    ... make android available for any iPhone where the OS has become unsupported.

    (Or announce that they are going to)

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