Originally Posted by Tulkas
Actually, it is exactly the opposite of fragmentation. Fragmentation would be if Apple had to continue to maintain separate forks in order to support legacy hardware. I am not saying that I agree that there would be technical impediments to them allowing full support for OS4 on older models today, but they have to draw a line, internally, as to when specific hardware will start to lose support. By killing support for the legacy hardware, even if it is perhaps premature, they ensure that fragmentation does not occur.
It isn't so much refusing to admit it is happening, as much as understanding what 'it' is.
Besides fragmentation, continuing to support legacy systems just bring too many other problems. Either you end up with bloated software, trying to shoehorn in separate support for every possible permutation of hardware or you end up with crippled software that utilizes the lowest common denominator. When we were allowed to remove Windows 9x support a number of years ago from the product I work on, the amount of code were were able to gut was amazing. To a lesser degree, dropping Windows 2000 and Mac OS X 10.3 (and lower) have also recently allowed us to trim some code. Going forward, not having to worry about supporting these older platforms makes my life easier and the products better. Same goes for Apple.
3 years is a long time in the life of a smart phone-- especially when the paradigm was refined.
I have recycled 3, day-1 2007, iPhones to the grandkids... as mobile game machines (no SIM cards). They have no need or desire for anything in 4.0.
I gave my daughter my 3G when I upgraded to 3GS... I expect to do a similar "push-down" with the next iPhone. *
* sure confuses the hell out of ATT (an unintended benefit)
My granddaughter, 14, will get her mother's 3G & it will satisfy her needs with 4.0 features available for that model.
So, we've gotten great use (ROI) for the iPhones.
Apple, in order to remain nimble, must cut the cord with legacy devices-- technology moves too fast, to spend all your time reimplementing the past. Move on!