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iOS 4 on iPhone 3G: Fake Email Offers Real Hope

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It appears that we have a new “Fake Steve Jobs” in our midst. And this time ‘Steve’ is claiming via email that the apparent performance issues witnessed on iPhone 3G devices running the latest iOS 4 software will be addressed in an upcoming update to iOS 4. Regardless of whether the email did in fact come from the Real Steve Jobs or not, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Apple (s aapl) is serious about getting iOS 4 working properly on iPhone 3G devices.

Next Gen Customers on Previous Gen Devices

The most likely recipients of older iPhone 3G devices will be the siblings of the owners of the devices which have replaced them with the new iPhone 4. This is a very important class of user that Apple cares a lot about. The new owners of these older iPhone 3G devices will be potential Apple customers throughout their academic life. And it appears that students are serious about Apple. Providing a less than awesome experience now could jeopardize their loyalties later.

One iOS to Rule Them All

The current burden on developers targeting Apple’s mobile devices is that there are too many software versions to manage; 3.1, 3.2, and 4.0, to name a few. The number of devices on each of these three major platforms is still significant. With the upcoming iOS 4.1 update, Apple has the opportunity to converge more of these devices to just one OS platform. That is, if they can convince iPhone 3G owners that performance is no longer an issue.

Focusing on multiple platforms does take time away from adding features and releasing new titles. Giving developers the tools they need is only part of the equation. Switching between simulators and managing several different devices takes time. Cutting down on the number of device and OS combinations that developers need to support will only strengthen the quality of the apps for devs that don’t test across the matrix of combinations, and give back some development time to those that do.

Engineering Pride

Apple has been quite public about the engineering capabilities of other software development shops. Apple was also adamant all along that iPhone 3G devices would be supported on iOS 4, minusĀ some features. Nonetheless, Apple proclaimed support for these devices. Taking on its own challenge, stepping up to the plate and delivering an awesome experience to its next generation of customers is what Apple’s core values are all about.

Related GigaOM Pro Research: Rogue Devices: The Consumer Influence on Enterprise Mobility, Part 1

4 Responses to “iOS 4 on iPhone 3G: Fake Email Offers Real Hope”

  1. Click on the link behind “Fake Steve Jobs”. There has been a lot of back and forth on wether or not Steve actually authors the emails using his name. I believe that this article did come from Apple, and did come from the account that previous similar emails have come from. The point was not the origin of the email. The point is that there are other more substantial reasons to believe that Apple will be addressing performance issues on iOS 4 for older iPhone 3G devices.

  2. Hamranhansenhansen

    This is all true, but you don’t even have to go to second-hand phones. Apple just stopped selling iPhone 3G a few months ago. There are many people who are running an iPhone 3G who are still under contract. Apple has clearly committed to supporting all users throughout the 2 year life of their phone.

    And iOS is clearly designed such that the users all run the latest version: we have central software updates, developers receiving each new OS version early in order to ensure apps are compatible, and the higher-resolution devices are exactly double the resolution of the low-resolution devices, essentially making them compatible with each other.

    We will likely see iOS v4.1 fairly soon. The first point release is always much more optimized. It will run faster for everybody.