iOS 7 Apps Could Push iPhone 3GS Owners to Upgrade

A recent survey of iPhone developers reveals iPhone 3GS owners may be out of luck when it comes to running the latest apps this fall.

When the iOS 7 release date arrives this fall iPhone and iPad developers will be ready with app updates and many app may require iOS 7 to run on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

As developers test iOS 7 beta 4 and wait for the iOS 7 beta 5 release to bring us closer to a finished product a survey of developers reveals that almost all developers are hard at work on an iOS 7 update to their app and over half will require iOS 7.

The iOS 7 update delivers a new look and feel to the iPhone and iPad software and includes many new features, which have some developers focusing on iOS 7 specific apps.

There is no iPhone 3GS iOS 7 update, which could leave owners behind when it comes to app updates.

There is no iPhone 3GS iOS 7 update, which could leave owners behind when it comes to app updates.

Craig Hockenberry, a software engineer at the iconfactory, surveyed over 500 IOS Developers to discover that most users shouldn’t need to wait for iOS 7 app support, and puts iPhone 3GS owners on notice that an upgrade may be in the cards. Hockenberry shares the results on furbo.

95% of the developers surveyed are updating apps for iOS 7, which is great news for users that want the latest and greatest apps. If this sample is indicative of the overall developer community it means we can expect a host of iOS 7 app updates to arrive in September, around the time the iOS 7 release is anticipated.

Unsurprisingly this number is close to the iOS 6 adoption rate which Apple brags is at 93% as of June 2013. Because Apple is able to roll out updates to all compatible devices in one day it’s easier to get users on iOS 7 than it is for Samsung to get all devices sold in the last three years on Android 4.2 or Android 4.3.

iOS 7 apps only no iPhone 3GSApp updates are in general very good news for users, but it’s not all good news for users that are still using an iPhone 3GS. Over half of the developers in this survey plan to only support iOS 7.

This means users that don’t or can’t upgrade to iOS 7 will not be able to use theses apps. Specifically this means iPhone 3GS owners will be out of luck when it comes to App updates and new apps once the iOS 7 release arrives. It could also be a push to get some IOS 6 jailbreak users to upgrade to iOS 7 swiftly, ahead of an iOS 7 jailbreak.

Apple is not offering the iOS 7 update for the iPhone 3GS in any capacity, something that we could see happen with the iPhone 4 next year as it approaches the lowest rung on the iPhone product line.

Users may not be left completely out in the cold, as some apps could offer an older iOS 6 version that is frozen in time. This would mean the new features come to iOS 7 devices, but would not lock out iPhone 3GS users.

Read: iPhone 3GS Review: Three Years later

Ultimately iPhone 3GS users should plan for a new iPhone soon, possibly as soon as September when the iPhone 5S release could arrive. This will likely push the iPhone 4S to free and the iPhone 5 to $99 on contract, offering semi-affordable upgrade routes.

While Apple will support the iPhone 3GS for a while, it is no longer going to get iOS updates.