iPhone OS 4: Welcome to fragmentation-land Apple [Updated]

by Ben Smith on 9th April 2010

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Today Steve Jobs announced iPhone OS 4 – an update that includes long-awaited features such as multi-tasking… and that’s great.  However, whilst the fan-boys bicker about whether this is ‘years behind Symbian’ or ‘done right for the first time’ something more important has happened…

Apple has announced that the original (the 2G model) isn’t capable of running this update, whilst the 3G and older iPod Touch models will update, but miss some features. iPads will run the new software, but not until autumn… (I refuse to call it ‘fall’). And so today marks the day when noticeable ‘fragmentation‘ hit Apple’s product line – something that other manufacturers have struggled with for some time. Developers will have to write for multiple software versions across different devices  and now, for the first time, turning an iPhone app into an iPad app will need to consider if it relies on any of the version 4 features.  Some may need to delay their investments until version 4 is available everywhere.

OS4 Compatibility

OS 4 Compatibility

Apple’s certainly done nothing wrong to cause this – it comes to all manufacturers as their product line matures – and in truth this has been brewing for some time in the small detail, but today (in my opinion) we move clearly from ‘possibly a little bit fragmented’ to ‘definitely fragmented’.  Seeing how they address this issue will be very interesting…

Image credit: Engadget

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