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Nearly 30% of Apple's first-gen iPhones are still in use - report

post #1 of 75
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Just 2 percent of all iPhone OS handsets still in use are Apple's first-generation iPhone, but a new calculation estimates that amounts to nearly 30 percent of the 6.1 million iPhones sold between June 2007 and July 2008.

Mobile advertising firm AdMob released its monthly Mobile Metrics report on Tuesday, which included information on the hardware and software used by owners of Apple's handsets in the month of March. The data revealed that just 2 percent of all iPhone OS-based handsets that accessed the AdMob network were the first-generation iPhone.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune Brainstorm Tech took the data one step further, and factored in Apple's announced total of 85 million worldwide iPhone and iPod touch sales. After it debuted in June 2007 until the iPhone 3G came out in July 2008, the first-generation iPhone sold 6.1 million units, which is about 7 percent of the 85 million total handsets sold.

"If 7% of those iPhone 1Gs are driving 2% of AdMob's traffic," Elmer-DeWitt wrote, "that suggests that nearly one in three is still ticking -- and visiting the Web."

Though the first iPhone has been supported since its release, Apple earlier this month announced that its forthcoming iPhone OS 4 upgrade will not be available for the first-generation device. In addition, the iPhone 3G, first released in 2008, will not have the mobile operating system's multitasking support available for the faster iPhone 3GS.



AdMob's latest report also revealed that the iPhone 3GS is the most popular iPhone, generating 39 percent of all its network's traffic in March 2010. That's up from the 30 percent total seen by its network in September 2009.



All versions of the iPhone represent 60 percent of the iPhone OS devices found on the AdMob network. The iPod touch represents the other 40 percent, with the second-generation iPod touch the second most popular device, behind the iPhone 3GS. The second-gen iPod touch accounted for 25 percent of iPhone OS devices in March 2010, beating out the iPhone 3G which was represented by 20 percent of Apple's mobile devices.

The study also found that 44 percent of iPhone OS users are running version 3.1.3, and 42 percent run 3.1.2. Just 5 percent of users are running either version 1.0 or 2.0 software on their handset.
post #2 of 75
What's happened to the other 70%? Recycled, I hope.
post #3 of 75
There was a time a phone used to last forever. Now, when I go to the phone store to have my old phone "maintained", the clerk tells me, it is too old (after two years). They want me to buy a new one.

It just happened to coincide with their renewal cycle.

CGC.
post #4 of 75
After using the 3GS, I couldn't imagine going back to those slow processing days.

Love the form factor of the original, love the guts of the current.
post #5 of 75
My wife and I still have ours. They continue to work wonderfully. Battery life is a bit of a stinker but it always has been with this phone. Still can't decide if I want to upgrade this season or not.
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post #6 of 75
The wife and I are still running our original iPhones.

Battery life is for sure shortened but not as bad as one might think. Phones are still working good.

Passed on the 3G and was seriously considering the 3GS but never bought.

I think it might be about time to pull the trigger this summer on Apples next iPhone creation.

Also bought an iPad 3 weeks ago and love it.
post #7 of 75
This article may bring out the crazies complaining that Apple is no longer supporting the original iPhone after only 3 years of rich updates.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

There was a time a phone used to last forever. How, when I go to the phone store to have my old phone "maintained", the clerk tells me, it is too old (after two years).

It just happened to coincide with their renewal cycle.

CGC.

Which phones lasted forever?
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post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

The wife and I are still running our original iPhones.
[...]
I think it might be about time to pull the trigger this summer on Apples next iPhone creation.

You're in for a treat. The difference between models was pronounced, so skipping 2 models will have to be night and day in terms of speed and functionality.
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post #9 of 75
These statistics are very telling. I can see why Apple would not support my iPhone 2G any more.
Those 1G survivors have not upgraded because of they lack money and their trusted iPhone still works.

Also, great job on having all device on the latest OS. I don't know another platform that after 3 years has 95 percent of its devices running the latest software.

How does Android compare to that?

Quote:
You're in for a treat. The difference between model was pronounced, so skipping 2 models will have to be night and day in terms of speed and functionality.

100% agreed. I hope I will be able available in my country soon and I will be able to afford one
post #10 of 75
This analysis includes only people that have accessed AdMob through Apps or web sites I believe. I'm sure there is a significant group of users that just use their iPhones for cell phone, email and calendaring so this number could be even higher.
post #11 of 75
I am writing this comment on my iPhone 2G. It has been a great phone! It runs very slowly with OS 3.0, but I feel very fortunate to have an iPhone at all. I can't stand most other phones.

My wife was also still using hers until it had an encounter with the asphalt a few months ago. Now she is using her old entry-level samsung. It's painful to use that thing.
post #12 of 75
I upgraded to a white, 32GB 3GS but just couldn't sell my orignal iPhone. The design is so beautiful....Though the partial aluminum backing ultimately didn't make sense...it's such a sturdy, solid design. It's also simply a piece of history at this point....Will be like owning one of the original Macintosh computers.
post #13 of 75
Wow. I have to say, it is pretty amazing that Apple has gotten all but 5% of their users to upgrade to 3.x. Imagine any platform trying to get their users to upgrade to a new version (OS, web browser, or otherwise). 5% is pretty incredible.
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post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Which phones lasted forever?

That was a figure of speech -- forever. The mechanical phones (pre-smartphones) did last very long. I had a mechanical phone when I was a student. It was packed with my old stuff. And when I moved to another state, after more than a decade, I found the old phone during the unpacking, It still worked. I used it as an extension phone in the kitchen. It was still wroking when I moved again, after so many years, but I had so much stuff, it had to go.

My first cell phone lasted more than five years. My carrier wanted to give me a free phone, but I do not want the two-year contract that goes with each new phone. I dropped it unfortunately while on travel and it "broke", The next cell phone I had barely lasted two years,

I want the iPhone but I do not want to pay all those other charges from AT&T, I might get one eventually, for business using multiple user plans (ala family plan) if that is allowed. That may be cheaper overall, with unlimited plan.

CGC
post #15 of 75
Still using our 1st gen iPhones around the house as iPod touch clones and remotes for Apple TV, etc...
post #16 of 75
Still using my 1st generation iPhone.

I've had opportunities to upgrade, but I like it just fine.

I'm amused every time a latecomer to the iPhone party looks at my phone and asks if it's a new model.

My iPad 64GB+3G is coming on Friday, so I'm going to figure out if I still have a need for a smart phone.
post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinge View Post

I upgraded to a white, 32GB 3GS but just couldn't sell my orignal iPhone. The design is so beautiful....Though the partial aluminum backing ultimately didn't make sense...it's such a sturdy, solid design. It's also simply a piece of history at this point....Will be like owning one of the original Macintosh computers.

The iPad Wifi design reminds me of the aluminum-backed iPhone. My first iPod also had aluminum (?) backing. Quite elegant, It never got dinged even after I dropped it a gazillion times. I like the first generation iPhone design more than the design of the next two generations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Askew View Post

My iPad 64GB+3G is coming on Friday, so I'm going to figure out if I still have a need for a smart phone.

I met an Australian tourist who I mistakenly took as an Apple employee (he was wearing a blue shirt) while using a number of the Apple products at the Boylston street branch.

He said he bought his iPad Wifi and used it as his phone while he travels here in the US -- using Skype. He stated the speaker was very clear, no need even for a bluetooth earpiece. Of course, he could only used it when there is a wifi around but there were many free wifi among the other countries he had visited.

He claimed that the $500 he paid was already more than compensated by the amount it would have cost him using "international rates" with a regular phone.

The iPad is the first Apple product that I would have bought as a first generation. It was so tempting while I was trying it at the store. I am trying to control my urge to do so.

I usually buy the second generation, to ensure that the first generation "issues" are resolved. But, there are several biomedical apps, I wanted to try in the iPad soon...

CGC
post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This article may bring out the crazies complaining that Apple is no longer supporting the original iPhone after only 3 years of rich updates.



Which phones lasted forever?

My Motorola E815 still works great. I got it long before the original iPhone was released, and even longer before I switched to ATT.

I was using it to listen to MP3s and to surf the WAP back in the day. It was a great phone, an OK MP3 player, and a mediocre web device.

I replaced it with a Palm Treo, and I replaced that with a 3GS when I went with ATT.

As a phone, the MOTO was better than the iPhone. The speaker phone worked MUCH better, the reception was better, and the phone functions were easier to use.
post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lantinian View Post

Also, great job on having all device on the latest OS. I don't know another platform that after 3 years has 95 percent of its devices running the latest software.


According to the article, only about 40 percent of the devices run the latest software.
post #20 of 75
Happily using my Edge iPhone. I get better signal than my wife's 3G, but most importantly mine is not SIM-locked so I can easily travel with it. That has been my biggest barrier to upgrade; I was all set to get a 3GS but with the lack of progress on the unlocking front it just became stupid.

Bought an iPad, and might just couple that with a no-frills phone if I can't unlock the phone. Disappointed Apple doesn't sell unlock codes for a premium after 3-12 months of service...
post #21 of 75
Interesting stats on the 2nd vs. 3rd gen iPod Touches.
post #22 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Wow. I have to say, it is pretty amazing that Apple has gotten all but 5% of their users to upgrade to 3.x. Imagine any platform trying to get their users to upgrade to a new version (OS, web browser, or otherwise). 5% is pretty incredible.

The study also found that 44 percent of iPhone OS users are running version 3.1.3,
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

According to the article, only about 40 percent of the devices run the latest software.

That might be a non-sequitur; many of the people that still use an Edge phone wouldn't upgrade the point releases because of unlocking issues.
post #24 of 75
I love my 4GB iPhone 1g.
in daily use and profoundly changing my digital-mobile life since the summer of 2007
[works flawlessly and even my battery still lasts more than 24hrs]

*yet, since OS upgrades end it might be time to upgrade to apple's latest iteration of it's iPhone, so splendidly showcased on gismodo.com :-)
post #25 of 75
FYI: I have the 3gs but had the first generation iPhone for over two years....was using it as an alarm clock but recently sold it for $80 to www.SellYourOldiPhone.com (no affiliation) Got a check in a week! Pretty cool!


Love the 3Gs, btw. Would find it very hard to go back to Edge type speeds!
post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lantinian View Post

These statistics are very telling. I can see why Apple would not support my iPhone 2G any more.
Those 1G survivors have not upgraded because of they lack money and their trusted iPhone still works.

WTF?!?!?! "Lack money"?!?!?!
Bull F'ing Sh¡t buddy...

I was all set to get the 3GS last summer, but something told me to hold out for Gen4.

I am a PROUD 1st Gen'er! I have more respect for those that I see holding an Aluminum backed iPhone to their ear than all the fricking teeny boppers running around with their 3GS iPhones in their neon colored cases.
post #27 of 75
Mine is now an iPod Touch as we got new iPhones. I set to Airplane Mode and it is great for around the house.
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post #28 of 75
If I paid as much as it cost, yeah, I'd use it for a while.
post #29 of 75
So where are the remaining 70%-98% of those iPhones?
Even if they are 'sold' they are still in use somewhere.
Did they all get thrown in the garbage?
Did they all get damaged and are not worth repairing?

If so... contact me... I'll *DEFINITELY* take one!

Just because it's from a couple of years ago... doesn't mean it's no longer still and AMAZING device.
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

I am a PROUD 1st Gen'er! I have more respect for those that I see holding an Aluminum backed iPhone to their ear than all the fricking teeny boppers running around with their 3GS iPhones in their neon colored cases.

I am so proud for you. I will try to keep my phone out of sight so as not to diminish your unique coolness... \
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post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Bought an iPad, and might just couple that with a no-frills phone if I can't unlock the phone. Disappointed Apple doesn't sell unlock codes for a premium after 3-12 months of service...

I am considering the same strategy. iPad and another "simple" smartphone or even the cheap phones to make calls. I am mulling whether to still buy an iPad 3G eventually, instead of just the wifi. You never know when the 3G might come in handy.

I read somewhere that you can tether the iPad to a non-iPhone smartphone 3G(???). The guy used that strategy because the plan was cheaper, even for an unlimited plan. Not sure if this is true though.

I would still prefer to have an iPhone (plus an iPad), once the rates go down. Lower rates may happen only when an iPhone for Verizon might be offered, in the future.

I'm in Boston, where Verizon is very big, but I had bad experiences with their customer service. So, I do not think they would be my preference as a carrier.

CGC
post #32 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Which phones lasted forever?

I probably still have a pair of tin cans and a string in my attic from when I was a kid. I guess that's close enough to 'forever'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SFSwitcher View Post

This analysis includes only people that have accessed AdMob through Apps or web sites I believe. I'm sure there are a significant group of users that just use their iPhones for cell phone, email and calendaring so this number could be even higher.

Good point - those people would be more heavily represented on the original iPhone - quite a few people who upgraded to 3G or 3GS are probably using their original iPhone for voice only - so it wouldn't show up here. When I buy my new iPhone this summer, mine will get passed to my daughter - who has only cell phone and texting service, no internet browsing, so she won't show up in AdMob.
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post #33 of 75
The article touts 30% as though that's miraculously high. I see it as a sad reflection of society's spoiled attitude that material goods are disposable as soon as any improvement comes along. *Most* original iPhones should still be in service (unless, of course, one means to imply their construction was shoddy and that they don't hold up).
post #34 of 75
I think that number will drop much lower when the 4G launches. At least the 4G's design is worthy of an upgrade, IMHO. It's a real upgrade in terms of design *and* speed.

I love my first-gen. The battery still lasts a day, and it's extremely hardy. Also feels a lot less "disposable" than the 3G/3GS.
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post #35 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

If I paid as much as it cost, yeah, I'd use it for a while.

I believe the initial prices were $499 for a 4GB and $599 for an 8GB. I bought my 1st Gen a few months later when Apple dropped the price down to $399 for the 8GB. I'll take as long as I can to amortize down the cost of the phone. And then will probably give this one to the wife when the 4G comes out.

I also like the fact that I am still on a $20 unlimited data plan with 200 text msgs. AT&T now charges $30 for the 3G data plan and ~$5 for 200 text msgs.
post #36 of 75
How does one unlock the original iPhone? Is ATT required to let me do it if I ask?
post #37 of 75
I still use my 1st Gen. The data plan is $15 cheaper per month. I don't do a lot web surfing with it. So, I am happy with just EDGE. The design is a Classic.

I may, however, upgrade to the next version.
post #38 of 75
I used to have the first gen iPhone. I was #43 in line at the Alderwood Mall store. I waited for the 3Gs to come out and then upgraded. I handed-down my first gen iPhone to my best friend that wanted an iPhone, but didn't have the money to jump in with the 3Gs. The price was right, at free, and he transferred his line over to it.

I've gotten most of my family to use Macs by doing the same thing, whether it be iBooks, Powerbooks, MBP's, iMacs, Mac Pros or iPhone. I'm the oldest brother so they always stand there with their hands open. I'd rather hand down a perfectly fine computer or iPhone when I upgrade. I gave my 600MHz G3 iBook to my Aunt because I knew full well that she wouldn't do more than write letters, email, and read Wikipedia. AppleWorks works fantastically for her, and that laptop still works fine for her running Panther. Not bad for an 86 year old that had never touched a computer before. I see no reason why the iPhone should be any different. Just like the iBook, the first gen iPhone will have to remain where it is regarding updates, but so what? There are lots of people out there that are just fine with the functionality it does have. I still have, and use, my first gen iPod. Still works, and it still plays music, just like it's supposed to.

I'm proud to see 30% of first gen iPhones still in use.
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post #39 of 75
The real question is: what percentage of popular older phones (Razors, Ericsons, etc as of pre-2007) were still in use three years later? Does a better designed, more capable phone such as the iPhone keep it's value for longer than other phones?

Is there a way of finding out how those other phones panned out?
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

I used to have the first gen iPhone. I was #43 in line at the Alderwood Mall store. I waited for the 3Gs to come out and then upgraded. I handed-down my first gen iPhone to my best friend that wanted an iPhone, but didn't have the money to jump in with the 3Gs. The price was right, at free, and he transferred his line over to it.

I've gotten most of my family to use Macs by doing the same thing, whether it be iBooks, Powerbooks, MBP's, iMacs, Mac Pros or iPhone. I'm the oldest brother so they always stand there with their hands open. I'd rather hand down a perfectly fine computer or iPhone when I upgrade. I gave my 600MHz G3 iBook to my Aunt because I knew full well that she wouldn't do more than write letters, email, and read Wikipedia. AppleWorks works fantastically for her, and that laptop still works fine for her running Panther. Not bad for an 86 year old that had never touched a computer before. I see no reason why the iPhone should be any different. Just like the iBook, the first gen iPhone will have to remain where it is regarding updates, but so what? There are lots of people out there that are just fine with the functionality it does have. I still have, and use, my first gen iPod. Still works, and it still plays music, just like it's supposed to.

I'm proud to see 30% of first gen iPhones still in use.

Was your friend able to get the $20 data plan with 200 texts with the 1st gen phone?
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