Will Apple STILL Selling the 3GS Cause Problems Later On?

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
12,904
3,476
Boston, MA
I got to thinking about how Apple is determined to keep up the support for their older handsets for as long as possible, which is certainly a good thing. I also got to thinking, will the 3GS STILL being in production and sold alongside a phone that is two cycles ahead of it hurt users of future iOS versions? I would hate to see Apple basing what they will add to newer versions of iOS on the hardware limitations of the 3GS.
 

vitzr

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2011
2,766
3
California
I got to thinking about how Apple is determined to keep up the support for their older handsets for as long as possible, which is certainly a good thing. I also got to thinking, will the 3GS STILL being in production and sold alongside a phone that is two cycles ahead of it hurt users of future iOS versions? I would hate to see Apple basing what they will add to newer versions of iOS on the hardware limitations of the 3GS.
You have nothing to be concerned with. Apple is simply using the 3GS presently to add customers that can't afford a current model.
 

Spectrum Abuser

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2011
1,377
47
Will a special IPSW version of iOS have to be watered down at some point to run on the 3G(s)? Sure. Will it slow down the flow of features? No. Apple probably already has features in the pipeline that will not support the 4S.
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,356
6,298
The Anthropocene
I would hate to see Apple basing what they will add to newer versions of iOS on the hardware limitations of the 3GS.
Oh, they won't. They go so far as to actively exclude iOS features from current (non-top of the line) hardware that could theoretically run them fine, which is more or less the opposite of what you fear.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
12,904
3,476
Boston, MA
Oh, they won't. They go so far as to actively exclude iOS features from current (non-top of the line) hardware that could theoretically run them fine, which is more or less the opposite of what you fear.
I do agree with this, but at what point will they decide to completely STOP support? FOr all intents and purposes, iOS 5 runs the same on and iPhone 4 as it does on the 3GS. Is it possible Apple held back on iOS 5 features so that they could keep their lower end phone updated.
 

wharzhee

macrumors 6502
Apr 27, 2010
279
0
texas
i dont think they will continue to support them, in terms of new features. new ios version will continue with their own iteration of new features, (like siri?)

but i believe the app store will accommodate all iphones. ios developers would surely tap the potential of a grand scaled app store.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
12,904
3,476
Boston, MA
but i believe the app store will accommodate all iphones. ios developers would surely tap the potential of a grand scaled app store.
In a way that's a limitation in and of itse;f I feel. I was hoping to see apps (namely games) take advantage of the beefier processor in the 4S. I am no longer holding my breath. All that will do is limit sales, in developers eyes. :(
 

wharzhee

macrumors 6502
Apr 27, 2010
279
0
texas
i dont think that would be the problem, i think if the new screen resolution does come out for the new iphone, that's gonna be a big problem. like i think it was mentioned, it will cause some fragmentation.

In a way that's a limitation in and of itse;f I feel. I was hoping to see apps (namely games) take advantage of the beefier processor in the 4S. I am no longer holding my breath. All that will do is limit sales, in developers eyes. :(
 

HellDiverUK

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2009
460
0
Belfast, UK
Just because iOS6 comes out for iPhone 4S or something in the future doesn't mean the 3GS will suddenly stop working. I'm perfectly happy with iOS5 on my 3GS, and to be honest if iOS6 comes along and is only compatible with the 4/4S then I won't care.

Heck, I would have been happy to stick with iOS4 on my 3GS if iOS5 didn't work so well on it. Thankfully it works a treat.
 

AlphaVictor87

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
797
27
Saint Louis, MO
I do agree with this, but at what point will they decide to completely STOP support? FOr all intents and purposes, iOS 5 runs the same on and iPhone 4 as it does on the 3GS. Is it possible Apple held back on iOS 5 features so that they could keep their lower end phone updated.
I don't think so and if they did, they have their ways of excluding it from the lower end models. I remember when whatever 4.x update came out with the new ring tones, for some reason iPhone 4 users got the new ringtones and 3gs users didn't.

So i don't think they kept anything out of iOS 5 to make sure the 3gs stays up to date with the 4 and 4s.
 

Geo411m

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2010
130
0
Apple isn't concerned with leaving users behind. Example: If memory serves, I got my daughter a 4th gen iPod touch 8 gig but the internals of it were based on previous models specs (3rd gen) so when 5.0 came out less than a year later she was unable to update while the same model 16/32 gig were able to update fine. So you see, Apple is fine selling you hardware they have no intention on supporting less than a year later.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,909
1,194
Washington DC
The thing is, the kind of person who goes out and buys the 'free' iPhone is not the sort of person who will be upset if they can't update to iOS 6 next year.

At least, by and large they aren't. I know some of these people. They're the ones who never even update their apps and when you DO update their OS for them they can't explain what's changed even after several weeks.

So, no, I don't think they'll get iOS 6 but I also don't think it's going to be a big problem.
 

nmork

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2011
145
0
Under your bed.
The thing is, the kind of person who goes out and buys the 'free' iPhone is not the sort of person who will be upset if they can't update to iOS 6 next year.

At least, by and large they aren't. I know some of these people. They're the ones who never even update their apps and when you DO update their OS for them they can't explain what's changed even after several weeks.

So, no, I don't think they'll get iOS 6 but I also don't think it's going to be a big problem.
This. Just like the 3G stopped at iOS 4.1 or 4.2 (idr) and the 2G/original iPhone stopped at 3.1.3.

They wouldn't hold back features jut to keep the phone updated - the older phones just wouldn't get the new features i.e. the 3G and multitasking, the 3GS and HDR photography, etc.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,909
1,194
Washington DC
They wouldn't hold back features jut to keep the phone updated - the older phones just wouldn't get the new features i.e. the 3G and multitasking, the 3GS and HDR photography, etc.
Another good point...

People throw the word 'supported' around a lot, but they often seem to be using it to mean "it gets new software" when really it should mean "it keeps working with your other stuff."

My iPod Mini came out in January of 2004. That means it's about 8 years old. Has it been updated with new software anytime recently? No.

But does it work in the latest iTunes that came out in November? Yep.

The iPod Mini has not gotten any updates but it still works in a version of iTunes that came out 94 months later.

THAT's "support."
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
I got to thinking about how Apple is determined to keep up the support for their older handsets for as long as possible, which is certainly a good thing. I also got to thinking, will the 3GS STILL being in production and sold alongside a phone that is two cycles ahead of it hurt users of future iOS versions? I would hate to see Apple basing what they will add to newer versions of iOS on the hardware limitations of the 3GS.
No. What makes you think that it will? Just thinking of something doesn't prove intent that Apple holds back on OS releases. Apple has dropped support for older devices with new iOS releases. Why worry about a problem that doesn't exist?

As stated above, the 3Gs is just a cheaper model for those that are budget minded. At some point they'll have to replace the device if they want the latest version of iOS. As stated above, not having the latest iOS release doesn't mean that the device suddenly stops working.
 

matt90036

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2010
236
0
You have nothing to be concerned with. Apple is simply using the 3GS presently to add customers that can't afford a current model.
yup. that's one of me, I can't afford/unwilling to pay $200 or even $99 for a phone. I'm getting 3GS by the end of this month for $0.99 and 2 year contract. otherwise I would buy iPod touch + Mifi so I guess the only bad thing about 3GS is that it's cannibalizing on iPod touch sales.
 
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