Apple officially announced iOS 8 today with a ton of new features, including HealthKit, better notifications and improved iMessages. Many users can look forward to the update coming at some point this fall, but iPhone 4 users will be left behind.
Apple didn’t mention which devices would be compatible with iOS 8 during the keynote, but they left a quick note about it toward the bottom of the iOS 8 press release, mentioning that the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display would all be eligible to receive the iOS 8 update.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 4 is left out of that list, and we’re frankly surprised to see the iPad 2 getting support for the new version of iOS.
It’s been rumored that the iPhone 4 wouldn’t support iOS 8, and we’re really not surprised that it turned out to be true. While it feels like the iPhone 4 was just announced yesterday, it is an aging device that’s pretty much on its death bed.
Apple’s tradition of dropping support for older devices and discontinuing iOS updates is nothing new. We saw the same thing happen for the iPhone 3GS not supporting iOS 7, so we’re not surprised the next device in line is getting the same ax with iOS 8.
Apple recently discontinued selling the iPhone 4 in several countries, including India and Brazil. Of course, it was discontinued in the US once the iPhone 5s was launched, but was kept on sale in developing markets as a cheap smartphone option. However, the older iPhone is slowly disappearing from the landscape.
The iPhone 4 does support iOS 7, but barely. It doesn’t offer some of the newer features, like turn-by-turn navigation, panorama photo mode, AirPlay mirroring or even Siri. Plus, the iOS 7 interface on the iPhone 4 has been toned down to the barebones, and many of the good-looking elements of iOS 7 aren’t present on the iPhone 4, simply because the older smartphone is too slow to handle it all.
Plus, iPhone 4 users have complained about the performance of iOS 7 on the older device, so an update to iOS 8 may not have even been a favor in the first place.
Of course, the iPhone 4 is close to turning four years old, which is quite the old age when it comes to smartphones, so we think it’s a good time for Apple to lay the iPhone 4 to rest anyway.
However, the iPhone 4 will most likely live on quite successfully in the used market, like on eBay and Craigslist. It’s a device that still quite relevant to users who are on a budget, and the phone’s design is still very unique and modern.
The iPhone 4 marked the first time that Apple drastically changed the design of the iPhone, going from a rounded piece of plastic, to an elegant, squared-off design that featured glass and aluminum, which no other phone manufacturer was doing at the time. It certainly set the bar for smartphone design, and it’s a design that Apple still relies on today, although that might finally change with the iPhone 6.