With iOS4 Steve Jobs wants to obsolete first-gen iPhones

22 Jun 2010

It’s an age-old Apple trick, but company CEO Steve Jobs knows it will work. With the new iOS4 software winding its way around the world, the one thing that is very clear is the move will obsolete older iPhones and iPod touches bought between 2007 and 2008.

Trumpeted by Jobs recently as “newest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system”, iOS4 comes with more than 100 new features including multitasking, folders, enhanced email, deeper enterprise support and Apple’s new iAd advertising platform.

The intrinsic value to Apple is obviously a sound platform on which its iAd system will run and reap the technology giant millions in new revenues, but the old Apple trick of making older products redundant is in play here.

The new OS will work on iPhone 3GS devices, will feature on the new iPhone 4 and current generation iPod touch devices.

However, owners of the 3G model iPhone and iPod touches that were sold in 2008 will only get some of the features and no doubt will be disappointed that these features do not include the coveted multitasking capability of running various apps simultaneously.

However, a unified inbox will allow users to combine all their email accounts into a single view.

All users will also be given the iBook reader which will allow them to purchase books directly from their handset, just like on the iPad.

Rocky rollout

The rollout of iOS4 has not gone as smoothly as Apple would have hoped, however. Reports are circulating among 3G iPhone users that downloads are crashing third-party apps and are hindering the synching up of iTunes media.

Users are also reporting various error codes, most notably an ‘iTunes error (-34)’ when data fails to sync.

Users of 3GS devices are reporting no such difficulties.

Nevertheless, it is clear, first-generation iPhone and iPod touch users who want the new features will be left with no choice but to ditch their precious devices for newer models, like the iPhone 4, which debuts in Ireland next month. Meanwhile, another generation passes and Apple laughs all the way to the bank.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years