With iOS 6 rumors getting into gear it is time to take a reality check on what versions of the iPhone Apple will continue to support going forward.
I’ve got an iPhone 3GS running the latest version of iOS 5. With each update of iOS my 3GS continues to get slower. In some cases really, really slow. I’ve heard similar reports from other 3GS users. With iOS 6 I’d expect that problem to only get worse. Either iOS 6 needs to not include support for the 3GS or Apple needs to get used to giving people a really poor experience. I expect them to pick door number one.
I don’t think this is a major surprise, and meshes nicely with a few other iPhone issues. Presumably there will be a new iPhone release during 2012. At which point I’d expect the iPhone 4 to become the new “free with 2 year contract” option.
The rolling three year plan for currently offered devices seems like an obvious pattern for Apple to continue. This pattern makes it easier on everyone, app developers and customers will all know what to expect (at a high level).