Why are older iPad generations not compatible with newest iOS?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by emailname66, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. emailname66 macrumors newbie

    emailname66

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    #1
    I manage iPads at my company for our electronic medical record system. Can someone explain to me why the older iPad (even iPhone) generations are not compatible with the latest model iOS software?

    For example, I've spoken and read about too many people with iPad 1st and 2nd generation who said iOS 9 caused major issues with their iPad. I had an iPhone 4S that had major issues following the iOS 8 software update. Our company currently uses iPad's 4th generation and our EMR vendor requires us to update our iOS to be compatible with their application.

    I just want to get some info so I can better understand why. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. ramram55 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    It is known as hardware obsolescence, if it last for a long time what will apple get their sales from ?
     
  3. emailname66 thread starter macrumors newbie

    emailname66

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    #3
    Ahh, very good point. I'm nervous about iOS 10 end of the year with our iPad 4th generations. These iPads are for 26 doctors and would be a cluster* if they started failing. Think there could be issues with iOS 10 and a 4th gen iPad?
     
  4. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #4
    Because the newer platforms have features that the old hardware does not support. Like full system encryption, for example.

    Also, carrier contracts expire, batteries only last so long, mobile network standards change, etc.

    Continuing to write software for devices with batteries that wore out years ago with CPUs that aren't fast enough to run the new platform anyway is pretty pointless.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2016 ---
    Plan on hardware replacement every 3-5 years and put it in your budget (i.e., allocate funds for this at a rate of say 25-30% replacement cost per annum).

    If you do not have a hardware replacement budget you will run into problems no matter what hardware you buy. Computing platforms are not buy once and forget.

    If you can't afford the budget to replace the devices, you can't afford to run the devices long term, end of story.
     
  5. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #5
    iOS 9 isn't supported by apple on the first gen iPad at least, that one stopped being supported with iOS 6. Basically the reason is that the old hardware can't keep up with newer software, so at some point Apple decides to stop trying to make it work.
     
  6. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    #6
    Actually I suspect the issue is with RAM... as the OS gets more sophisticated, it needs more RAM for background processes, and older iPads don't have enough of it, which will cause frequent slowdowns and higher chances of crashes.

    I would plan OS upgrades or buying decisions very much on the amount of RAM you're getting or you currently have on your devices.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2016 ---
    Based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad, the original iPad had only 256MB of RAM, which is probably why it is the only iPad that is stuck on 5.1.1

    The iPad 2 has 512MB, which I think is barely sufficient for iOS 9.2. Frankly I wouldn't recommend anything iOS7+ on the iPad 2.

    It looks like the iPad 3,4 and Air have 1GB, which should allow it to run later versions of iOS for some time.

    The Air 2 is the first to have 2GB.... Actually if you really want an iPad that will be "future proof" in terms of performance, it's hard not to recommend the Air 2. At a discounted price of course, given that the Air 3 is just around the corner.

    Although if the Air 3 has support for the smart connector and Pencil, that would probably be the optimal choice.
     
  7. joeblow7777 macrumors 68040

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    #7
    You can make make a point about planned obsolescence but the fact is that Apple supports its devices for much longer than most other companies, since they make both the hardware and the software. I mean, every iPad model ever produced except the very first is capable of running the most current OS. But you have to be reasonable and realize that the old hardware doesn't change while the software becomes increasingly demanding. The iPad Air 2 has 8 times the RAM of the original iPad, and I don't even know how many times more powerful the processor is. Why do we even need to ask why the older devices can't run the same software that the newer devices can? Why can't I play Halo 5 on my old NES?
     
  8. emailname66 thread starter macrumors newbie

    emailname66

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    #8
    Plan on hardware replacement every 3-5 years and put it in your budget (i.e., allocate funds for this at a rate of say 25-30% replacement cost per annum).

    If you do not have a hardware replacement budget you will run into problems no matter what hardware you buy. Computing platforms are not buy once and forget.

    If you can't afford the budget to replace the devices, you can't afford to run the devices long term, end of story.[/QUOTE]

    My supervisor is planning on proposing to put this into the budget to the finance committee in September/October. So I think things will work out on the budget end, albeit we are a little late in planning for this since we've had the iPads for exactly 3 years.

    Regarding replacement every 3-5 years, some of the iPads that I have reset (new Apple ID, etc) still experience issues afterwards. Touch screen dead spots, keyboard not functioning properly, etc. Is this just to be expected as the iPads age or is there anything I can do to put a bandaid on it until they get replaced?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2016 ---
    I understand your point but I may need to provide concrete answers when an iPad replacement budget gets proposed. Instead of just saying the obvious which everyone knows, I wanted to have specific answers I could provide.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2016 ---
    My supervisor is planning on proposing to put this into the budget to the finance committee in September/October. So I think things will work out on the budget end, albeit we are a little late in planning for this since we've had the iPads for exactly 3 years.

    Regarding replacement every 3-5 years, some of the iPads that I have reset (new Apple ID, etc) still experience issues afterwards. Touch screen dead spots, keyboard not functioning properly, etc. Is this just to be expected as the iPads age or is there anything I can do to put a bandaid on it until they get replaced?
     
  9. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    #9
    Since you have a clear business use case, perhaps you can approach Apple to see if they have some kind of business support program to keep your iPads well maintained? I'd expect that Apple would have one, if they want to be serious about iPads being a productivity device in a corporate setting.

    What I do know is that Apple has really great customer service when it comes to devices that are malfunctioning even beyond the warranty period. Many people have reported that Genius reps sometimes replace it for free, so I'd expect there might be a similar option on an official capacity somewhere.
     
  10. stevemiller macrumors 65816

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    #10
    regardless of what the industry status quo is, i think there is something to be said for putting a greater effort into being a little less of a disposable culture. shrugging and saying "hey every 3-5 years, throw out all your electronics and start over" is only acceptable because we've all convinced ourselves thats the only way it can be.

    personally, i think apple's software support schedule is counter productive in its one-way mentality. i know the argument is that the increased features, security and latest app support is worth the trade off in performance. but i'd rather exercise that decision for myself, which i can and have done on every traditional computer i've owned. and yes, maybe i'll arrive at the conclusion that the newer OS or hard ware is worth it. but maybe i'll be completely satisfied with the 5 year old hardware and its older software for my needs, and that saves one more device from getting tossed aside or contributing to electronic waste.
     
  11. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #11
    Time moves on. CPU requirements move on.

    Your old iPad will continue to run the old applications and old iOS it was sold with, and even run newer versions as they are released up until end of support.

    You can't expect new software support forever because the platform evolves to take advantage of advances in more modern CPUs, to do stuff like AES encryption in hardware, use 64 bit for more/faster memory access, etc.

    Apple could spend time and real money attempting to back-port such things to old platforms without hardware instructions for such things and with inadequate memory and CPU speed for a crappy experience, or they could cut support off at some reasonable time frame - when the machines are out of warranty - things like flash memory and batteries DO wear out.

    As above, you can continue to run your old hardware with old software. Your choice.
     
  12. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    As a healthcare manager, who also manages several systems. Saying plan new hardware every 3-5 years, is easier said than done. Hospitals are investing heavily in EMRs, and already had a major expense with MS stopping support of XP/Windows Sever 2003, IE 8 & 9. Hospitals simply do not have the cashflow to be able to keep up with a 3-5 year cycle. Most hospitals I know were on XP (running machines 5+ years old) up until beyond the end of MS support.

    The 3-5 year cycle will only increase the already high healthcare costs, in a market where payers are seeking drastic reimbursement cuts. This is in part why in the US there are so many hospital mergers now, the EMR investment was enough to break many cash strapped hospitals and clinics.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 26, 2016 ---
    Except, in the example the OP gave, where software vendors require newer OS' in order to run their product... It is an issue, maybe not for individuals, but it is for businesses.
     
  13. throAU, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #13
    Well yes. If you want new software you need to use the appropriate platform.

    It SHOULD be more of an issue for individuals than businesses, because as far as business goes, the iPad is a tool to do a job. It has a cost, and it is a tax deduction. You work out the expected life of the thing (hint: apple already did this for you by offering 3 yrs applecare option - this is also a good idea if it is a tool, because it breaks you just hand it in and get another one to carry one working) and depreciate it appropriately then buy another one. Sell/donate the old ones if you want to staff or whatever once the 3 years are done.

    Yes, this costs money - it's up to the business in question to decide whether or not that money is worth the productivity gain of having a functional tool. If it IS, the business needs to stop being so tight-fisted and spend the money required to do the job properly. If it isn't, then don't buy iPads for the job.

    If your employees spend hours screwing around trying to make the tool work, or wasting time with a tool that doesn't work, that costs real money - money that could better be spent just keeping the tools under support and functioning properly (i.e., supported device, under applecare).



    edit:
    you bring up XP going end of life being an issue - this is the same problem. Some businesses need to get out of the thinking that PCs and other computing devices are a buy once, and run into the ground purchase. They aren't. Time and software moves on. Disks die, software goes end of support. I'm guessing the execs / higher ups aren't driving around in 14 year old cars (which is how old XP is).

    Trying to push PCs out beyond 4-5 years is a mugs game, and holding off on XP for years after it went end of sale/end of support is grossly negligent. If they had a proper replacement plan from the start, they wouldn't have this massive bill all at once when the whole fleet goes EOL/End of support at the same time.

    But that's the past.
     
  14. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Remember, software vendors may or may not stop support for older software versions. So it may not be up to the business to upgrade the hardware because of OS support. Also, remember a tax deduction is just that, a tax exempt expense, but the item still costs money. Some places just do not have the operating expenses to replace hardware so frequently. Also, payers and regulatory agencies impose electronic requirements for health records/billing, so again, it may not be up to the business to upgrade software which again my require the newest OS, which can require the newer hardware.

    It's just not as simple as, you have a choice to upgrade the old software, and/or you are being cheap by not investing in new hardware.
     
  15. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #15
    At the end of the day, if you can't budget for keeping the tools maintained and under support, you can't afford the tools.

    I'm sure they don't just not maintain their MRI machine, the x-ray machine, the morgue, etc.

    It's a budgeting screw up, nothing more. If the tools don't pay for themselves in improved productivity (once TCO related expenses such as replacement/support are taken into account) then the business should not be buying them at all.

    And if they DO pay for themselves, then there shouldn't be a budget problem maintaining them. Someone isn't doing the sums properly, and is expecting a free lunch. Those don't exist.
     
  16. stevemiller, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016

    stevemiller macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Please tell me how I can return my iPad 3 to iOS 6 then.

    Apple does not allow you to downgrade. Counter to most other computing platforms: Mac, Windows, Android. I like Apple for things, but I heavily disagree with them on that point.

    Also the "you just can't afford the tools if you can't deal with the upgrade schedule" is just smug sounding. And I'll throw it back at you with an equally smug "I'm a responsible steward of this planet and we can't afford the greedy mentality that progress entitles us to this wasteful cycle"

    Edit: sorry if I came across rudely. I do feel strongly on the issue but I don't mean to make it personal.

    I fully respect the benefits of progress and the limitations of old hardware. What I seek is compromise, with something as simple as allowing a person to roll back to any version of iOS their hardware supported, as in computers. it would increase the options for a lot of people and would not take additional resources or hold back progress on newer devices.
     
  17. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    #17
    It actually sounds like a subscription model for things like EMRs and hospital support in general could work fairly well. Some startup could offer services to keep hardware well maintained while simultaneously providing software upgrades, making it easier to budget for IT services for hospitals.

    Of course, it boils down to whether there is actually a viable market for developing such a subscription service...
     
  18. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #18
    Apple has a recycling program.

    And i'm not trying to be smug here, but it's a cost of doing business. And before even buying the things in the first place, a cost/benefit should have been performed to determine whether or not to procure them. If you don't budget for maintenance and replacement, as an accountant you are not doing your job. As a business owner / manager you are failing.

    Whether it is budgeting to afford rent, budgeting to maintain your MRI machine, budgeting to pay your staff and cover for them when they go on holiday, keeping appropriate stock levels of drugs on the shelf or whatever.

    But hey, a lot of people don't know how to run a business properly.

    Sounds to me like someone had an idea to buy a bunch of iPads without any proper justification or maintenance plan for them. See it all the time - not just with iPads, but with other shiny toy type things. These issues are the consequences of that. It's like buying a company car, then not having the money to service it or insure it.
     
  19. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I actually wrote a masters level theoretical business plan that provides ipads/tablets for health care organizations. From my research it would be a cost effective business... I included charging bays in the theoretical contract. There were different contract levels ranging from small single provider clinics up to major multifacility hospitals. At the end of 2-3 year cycles, the company would sell the used products to the general public.

    EDIT: I found the major benefit was buying tablets in bulk directly from the manufacturer.
     
  20. stevemiller macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I made an addendum to my previous post apologizing for any rudeness to my tone. Didn't mean to get snippy.

    Additionally I think I'm probably arguing a slightly different angle than the OP on here, as I would be wary of iOS devices as a business tool for exactly the short lifespan issues that you guys have debated.

    In truth, the very fact that iOS devices are like 80% battery that will eventually wear out is unavoidable, at least given current tech. The 5 year end of a 3-5 lifespan estimate is reasonable in that regard. I would still like to see the rollback option introduced. At least as a home user, it is an unbearably slow running OS that "kills" a device before the battery does.
     
  21. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    It is a very common saying that most hospitals in the US are 2-3 major lawsuits away from bankruptcy. Remember capital investments do not necessarily have a ROI that is immediate. Many hospitals will be paying for their EMR investments for the next 10+ years.
     
  22. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #22
    3 years isn't really that short a lifespan for this kind of device.

    Most businesses at least in this country budget on replacing PCs after 3-4 years - and if they get longer, that's a bonus. The reason? Warranty coverage, less complexity to maintain the SOE, etc. e.g., my company budgets on 3 yr replacement, and we generally push to 4 if the machine(s) are still functional.

    I'm not talking about home users at all here, referring entirely to business use. As soon as you have a staff member dealing with a broken out of warranty iPad (or PC) that is preventing them from doing their job (for example), you very quickly burn the entire cost of a new iPad in lost employee productivity (and potentially lost business). Trying to push hardware WAY beyond its warranty coverage and support window just costs you money very quickly when it breaks.

    e.g., if an iPad was critical to my job, and it prevented me from working, it would be paid for within 1 to 2 days in lost wages. If i was actually billing out what I do as a consultant and relying on it to work, the lost income in terms of day rate (by the company) for consulting would buy 3 of them...
     
  23. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #23
    It's one thing to insist that companies put the brakes on product upgrades/innovation for the sake of "Green" and another to make it happen. Which competitor is going to say, "Halt" if the others are not going to stop? What company will walk away from the possibility of reaching new customers by offering new capabilities?

    But I also find it someone disingenuous for a hospital to cry "non-disposable." They are the epicenter of disposable! In the big scheme of a hospital's waste flow, iPads would be a drop in the bucket, and fortunately, they don't carry the same health risk as medical waste, so they are far more recyclable. And here in the States? A $1 per patient per visit charge would rapidly recoup the cost. And the insurance companies would not complain if there was a concurrent $1/patient savings in record-keeping or other administrative costs.

    I own a first-generation iPad - that means it's nearly six years old. It's still working fine, though it's stuck at iOS 5.1.1. From a standpoint of quality and durability, I have no complaints, and it still does everything I expected of it when purchased (I'm not going to ask it to do the impossible - the state of the technology has moved a very long distance in a short time). However, investors and analysts are unhappy about that - they want a shorter iPad upgrade cycle.
     
  24. JT2002TJ, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016

    JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I guarantee you have no experience with healthcare revenue cycle, if you believe this. Payers have been constantly lowering reimbursement rates, while operating costs have soared.
     
  25. Savor Suspended

    Savor

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    #25
    Just be grateful iOS users that you get updates beyond 2+ years. My Mom recently gave me her iPad 2 she got from Christmas 2011. I'm an Android fan and not keen with tablets so it wasn't like I was jumping for joy when I got a hand me down iPad. It is from 4+ years ago and the battery holds up like a champ! She did tell me she would charge it every two weeks to a month and the condition is near perfect. It still works near flawlessly at 8.3.

    The same iPad 2 from 2011 with only 512 MB RAM and dual core A5 chip found on the iPhone 4s. Nexus smartphones don't even get more than two official updates and they have greater RAM, more cores, and faster CPU. The iPad 2 went through five different updates of iOS. the only iOS device to do it. In a way, I am falling for iPads or thinking of returning to iOS because this half decade device battery hasn't degraded as badly as my 18 month old Android smartphones and previous iPhones.

    Apple builds more long lasting iPads than iPhones especially in battery capacity. This is why the demand for iPads is on the decline. We can use iPads for 3-5 years without seeing much battery degradation while iPhones gets packed with sub 2K-3K mAh batteries that starts to show its degradation after 18 months or once your contract is up.

    I used to think iPads were worthless like an oversized, overpriced iPod touch. Now I think the more disposable devices are iPhones while we can keep and enjoy our iPads far longer.
     

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