After six years of existence, it seems Apple will finally cut the iPhone 4 from their lineup.
— MacLife (@MacLife) October 15, 2016
Starting on October 31 of this year — so at the end of this month — Apple will no longer provide technical support for the iPhone 4. This isn’t the only device that is being labeled “obsolete.” According to Mac Otakara, along with the iPhone 4 is the late 2010 13-inch MacBook Air, the third-generation AirPort Extreme (sometimes referred to as the AirMac Extreme), and the second-generation Time Capsule. These devices will get the coveted — or vetted, depending on your position — title of “vintage.” There are exceptions to the rule, however: California and Turkey are required to continue supporting products for up to seven years, so you should have a couple of years left if you live in either of those places.
This has not been officially announced by Apple just yet, but Mac Otakara has been a reliable source in the past. As previously referenced here on the Inquisitr, while “[the Japanese site] does not have a perfect track record with Apple rumors, [their] sources have proven accurate on multiple occasions in the past.” Specifically, back in November of 2015, the site hinted at Apple removing the headphone jack — which evidently came true. Furthermore, the site seemed to confirm the rumored iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus “Jet Black” color option, as well as “accurately [leaking] the iPhone 7’s naming scheme, pressure-sensitive Home button, and larger earpiece cutout,” which all came true. We’ll see if their sources prove true this time as well. These devices have been around for nearly six years, so it makes sense, and they’ve all had a good run. All good things must come to an end eventually.
What Does This Mean?
Well, if you have any of these devices — particularly the iPhone 4 or the late 2010 13-inch MacBook Air — you should think about upgrading to the latest device. If not the latest, then perhaps the last iteration of the device. This way, you’ll continue to get the most recent iOS and macOS updates and security patches as they become available. Since Apple is labeling these devices as “obsolete,” they will not be issued the newest OS updates and security patches anymore. Of course, if your devices are running just fine, then continue to use them until they break or stop working; just don’t expect Apple to repair them for you.
A Brief Reflection Of Apple’s Past
The iPhone 4 was announced on June 7, 2010, during their annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Moscone West in San Francisco, California. Steve Jobs sauntered on stage in his trademark black turtleneck and stone-washed jeans, presenting the future of the iPhone, “The Most Amazing iPhone Yet,” in typical Apple hyperbole. The iPhone 4 was made available for pre-order on June 15, 2010, and was unleashed to the public on June 24, 2010. Unfortunately, three years later, on September 10, 2013, Apple discontinued the iPhone 4 amid hardware defects: The device was not holding calls, something that became known as “antennagate.” Though Apple didn’t sell the iPhone 4 anymore, it was still a widely popular device, and they continued support for the hardware by way of software updates and cases that provided antenna support for those who didn’t upgrade to the iPhone 4s.
On October 20, 2010, during Apple’s October Mac Keynote, they announced and released a redesigned 13-inch MacBook Air. This provided an improved enclosure, a better screen resolution, a longer battery life, and flash storage instead of a hard drive. This netbook was significantly more powerful than the mid-2009 MacBook Air, and its specifications provided power and efficiency in a compact, lightweight chassis — the best of both worlds. Sometime in 2011, when Apple unveiled and released the mid-2011 MacBook Air, the late-2010 13-inch MacBook Air was discontinued. Much like the iPhone 4, the late-2010 13-inch MacBook Air was still a popular device, and Apple continued to support it via software updates to increase performance and efficiency to the best of their ability considering the outdated technology.
The AirPort Extreme was released on March 3, 2009, with simultaneous dual-band 802.11 Draft-N radios. This allowed full 802.11 Draft-N 2×2 communication in both 802.11 Draft-N bands at the same time. In other words, the AirPort Extreme — which functioned as router, network switch, wireless access point, network-attached storage (or NAS) — was the most efficient device that increased the bandwidth of wireless access networks, while also making them faster and easier to access and manipulate. The AirPort Time Capsule (or Time Capsule for short), a wireless router, debuted in early 2009. It offered simultaneous 802.11n dual-band operation, which allowed older devices to use slower wireless speeds, without affecting the overall performance of devices that can use higher 802.11n speeds. In other words, for older devices that didn’t have the faster connectivity options built into their CPUs, the Time Capsule allowed them to access slower wireless speeds without jeopardizing the performance of other connected devices. It is, in essence, another version of the AirPort Extreme.
While it’s sad to see these devices leave the Apple lineup, it may mean that Apple has some new products brewing in the headquarters. Only time will tell.
[Featured Image by Paul Sakuma/AP Images]