Backwards Compatibility Isn't Viable with Hardware


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Dylan called in during the live show the other night and wanted to talk about hardware and having to upgrade. He has an iPhone 3G and installed the new iPhone 4.0 operating system on it as a developer. His phone became very hot, and he began to wonder if it’s “really true” that you cannot use the new os on older versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Well, of course it’s true. Apple has every right to make that cutoff. You cannot expect manufacturers to support old hardware indefinitely.

We’ve been spoiled, I think, with Windows XP. There have now been two upgrades released beyond XP. Yet, we can still walk into some stores and buy machines off the shelf which have Win XP installed on them. I’m not saying that’s a “bad” thing. It’s just the way it is.

There has to be a cutoff point somewhere. Apple has defined theirs. You simply cannot expect any company to continue to support older hardware indefinitely… especially when it comes to mobile devices. The market for these gadgets is growing very quickly. Many models are leap-frogging right over others in the eternal quest to be “the best.”

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