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.