The claims stem from a Twitter post from Mobile-Review.com editor Eldar Murtazin, which was first discovered by MacStories. If true, it would mean that those who take advantage of the current $49 U.S. price of the iPhone 3GS could be out of luck with iOS 5 launches.
"Just one comment," Murtazin wrote. "Apple iPhone 3Gs wont be upgradable to iOS 5.x. iPhone 4 will."
That would be a change from last year, when iOS 4 was ported to the iPhone 3G, a device that first became available in 2008. While iPhone 3G users were able to upgrade to iOS 4, the software still had missing features due to the slower hardware, like multitasking and background wallpaper.
But iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G had its share of problems. In late July, Apple was compelled to publicly respond after iPhone 3G users reported performance issues with iOS 4.
iOS 4.1, released last September, showed improvements in speed and performance, and they were boosted again in November with the release of iOS 4.2. However, starting with iOS 4.3, iPhone 3G users have not had access to the latest software updates.
Murtazin incorrectly reported in December that Apple would add a USB port to its next-generation iPad. The iPad 2 launched in March, and retained the same 30-pin iPod dock connector as its primary input method.
While the iPhone 4 is Apple's most popular handset, the iPhone 3GS is still a strong seller for the company. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the iPhone 3GS often outsells new, competing handsets that run the Google Android mobile operating system.