Apple's enforced product progression

10th April 2010

Hidden behind the announcement for the 4th iteration of Apple's iPhone software was a sneaky reminder from Apple that they would like all their customers to upgrade to the latest incarnation of the product.

Apple will release a major upgrade to their iPhone software this summer and, as usual, the company has added several features that dedicated users will not want to miss.

Unfortunately though there is a catch, the original iPhone (released summer 2007) will not be compatible with the latest update at all. Meaning anyone who has not upgraded in 3 years will not be allowed any of the updated functionality.

iPhone 3G users (released summer 2008) will get most of the updates but will miss out on the headline feature, 'multi-tasking'. The ability to run more than one app at a time will not be available to these devices.

iPhone 3GS users will get the update in full, but as the 3GS was released last July, these customers have all upgraded in the past 12 months and will all be within their initial 12 or 18 month contract.

There is a possibility that some of these decisions have been based on the technical requirements of the updated features, however as we have seen with several of Apple's other product lines such as iPod and the Macbooks, the company is prepared to use its tight control over hardware and software to force customers to upgrade.