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Apple: iPhone OS 4 won’t support 2007 iPhone, iPod touch

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Thursday, April 8, 2010
News Categories: Apple, iPhone, iPod

During the course of its iPhone OS 4.0 Sneak Peek event today, Apple noted that the operating system software will be available in at least three different versions: one that is fully feature-enabled with multitasking for the iPhone 3GS and 2009 “third-generation” iPod touch, one that is limited by the less advanced hardware in the iPhone 3G and 2008 “second-generation” iPod touch to not support multitasking, and finally, a third version for the iPad, which will come later than the other Summer versions, in Fall. No mention was made during the presentation of the original iPhone and iPod touch, released in June and September, 2007, respectively.

Two separate questions were asked during a Q+A session, however, attempting to pin Apple down on whether iPhone OS 4 would be available for the earlier devices; responses from Apple, including Steve Jobs, appeared to suggest otherwise. He stated that earlier hardware wasn’t capable of supporting iPhone OS 4.0 features, differing based on model, and suggested that it wasn’t Apple’s choice, but rather just limitations of the devices. Additionally, Jobs suggested that sales of the iPod touch and iPhone 3GS had really taken off in the past year, so that more devices were being supported than not, and said that while users of the older products may miss features like multitasking, “if that’s an incentive for them to upgrade to a new phone, that’s terrific.”

Updated: Apple’s iPhone OS 4 Preview page explicitly leaves out the original 2007 iPhone and iPod touch from its list of compatible devices.

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Comments

1

It’s important to note that the 2008-era devices include half the RAM and about 2/3rds of the processing power of subsequent era devices. The fact that 4.0 was excluded altogether from the 2007-era devices is a separate question, but it might be due to the fact that there are not that many iPhones from that era still remaining.

Posted by Joseph P. Hillenburg on April 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM (PDT)

2

No multitasking on second gen Ipod Touches! Redicilous, but not to bad, since I already have multitasking thanks to my jailbreak! Thank you hacking community! Let apple know that we want to do whatever we want with our devices no matter the risk!

Posted by weirdalguy360 on April 8, 2010 at 12:16 PM (PDT)

3

Yeah, but why can’t we have multitasking. Ahh, forget it, I will just get the fourth generation Touch. And by the looks of what is happenning, will be much better and I will not regret missing out on the third gen Ipod Touch.

Posted by weirdalguy360 on April 8, 2010 at 12:21 PM (PDT)

4

With a 1st gen. Touch, I didn’t really expect 4.0 to run on my device, but I was disappointed to see iBooks listed as part of the 4.0 upgrades. Because similar applications already run on my iPod, I’m surprised that iBooks is being linked to the 4.0 OS.

Posted by Rob E. on April 8, 2010 at 12:25 PM (PDT)

5

Rumors will be coming very soon about the fourth gen Ipod Touch and the rumors lately have been pretty spot on. Ipad being released on January 27th before it was announced, 4.0 os having multitasking and folders, even Steve Jobs let the universal mail slip. Finally, Iphone on verizon may be coming and then verizon saying they have asked apple about it. This year is very exciting in terms of new technology. Sources for rumors seem to be more reliable in general.

Posted by weirdalguy360 on April 8, 2010 at 12:25 PM (PDT)

6

Hey does anyone know how to change the pacific daylight time to eastern daylight time?

Posted by weirdalguy360 on April 8, 2010 at 12:31 PM (PDT)

7

As an owner of the original iPhone, I too, did not expect this to run on my device.  It’s already running so much slower than it used to.  My hope is that the next iPhone has significant HARDWARE changes in order to keep up phones like the EV0 4G.  So far, its not looking good.  I left Verizon for AT&T - worse service but better phone.  I’d be willing to do the same in order to switch from the iPhone to the EVO 4G.  Step it up apple, software updates can only do so much!!!

Posted by DynaMix on April 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM (PDT)

8

I agree with DynaMix.  I’ve tried out the multitasking options available from Cydia on my 3G, and the limitation is 100% hardware.  It’s not usable at all. I’ve also noted that since the release of the 3GS, apps have become a lot crashier than before.  I use the hack that shows my free memory, and I’ve been seeing free memory drop below 10M a lot more frequently as the months roll on.  My suspicion is a lot of developers have 3GSes and are coding for their own hardware and not testing on lower-memory units. 

I had no doubt in my mind that this was going to be the result when multitasking was brought to the platform: that my phone would be excluded.  Anyone who thinks this is some crazy ploy by Apple to “force” people to upgrade needs to adjust their tinfoil hat a little. smile

Posted by Tony Karakashian on April 8, 2010 at 12:51 PM (PDT)

9

“... that’s terrific.”  Of course it is Steve, for you!

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on April 8, 2010 at 2:14 PM (PDT)

10

I’m sure there is a way via jailbreaking

Posted by Ryan on April 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM (PDT)

11

i dont care about multitasking in the slightest (other than being able to listen to music) but WTF? seriously, this is the reason why you shouldn’t get an iPad now. My original touch feels like a black an white tv and it isnt 3 years old yet. Just wait til next year and apple will release an iPad with a cam or something

Posted by James on April 9, 2010 at 5:18 AM (PDT)

12

I can’t say I didn’t see this coming, but I’m sure my 1st generation Touch can handle home screen wallpapers. Maybe application folders too.

Apple most likely won’t include any OS 4.0 features in future updates for the old iPod touch and iPhone models, so I don’t have much hope, but that’d be a nice gesture for us early adopters who have chosen to continue to update our old device’s OS.

Posted by Gonzalo on April 9, 2010 at 2:07 PM (PDT)

13

The problem with this is that Apple is still selling the second-gen iPod Touch as their low-end 8G model in that category. They are selling an item that will be not be able to run current software in a few months. Has Apple ever before sold hardware as new that was not able to take full advantage of its latest OS software? (Maybe I’m just more aware of this having recently purchased the second-gen iPod Touch as a gift ...)

Posted by Plan-K on April 13, 2010 at 4:06 AM (PDT)

14

To be clear, the second-generation iPod touch will be able to run iPhone OS 4—it simply won’t support some of the newer features such as multitasking.  Many carriers are still selling the 8GB iPhone 3G, which is in the same situation.

Realistically, however, I suspect that we’ll see these older models discontinued very soon—certainly by the time this year’s models are released.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on April 13, 2010 at 7:02 AM (PDT)

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