Steve Jobs confirms no more support for original iPhone

Steve Jobs this weekend confirmed via email that Apple would no longer continue supporting the original iPhone via software upgrades

Over the weekend, a German iPhone user emailed Steve Jobs and asked whether or not Apple would continue support the original iPhone via software upgrades.

Hey Steve!

Is Apple supporting/updating the iPhone 2G in the Future?

Cheers Niko

Sent from my iPhone

Jobs, who apparently is loathe to use more than 5 words in an email simply responded, "Sorry, no."

To be fair, this isn't altogether surprising news given that Apple announced at last week's iPhone OS event that only the iPhone 3G and 3GS would be offered the upgrade.

The question, though, is why isn't the original iPhone getting any love?

The answer, believe it or not, may have to do with accounting.

Apple spread out all the revenue it derived from the original iPhone over the course of 24 months using the subscription method of accounting. In other words, instead of recognizing $600 of income when someone purchased an iPhone in 2007, Apple recognized $25 of income each month for 24 months instead.

The reason for this quirky setup is that by using the subscription method of accounting, Apple was subsequently able to offer software updates to users at no extra charge. Conversely, iPod Touch owners have always had to pay for significant software upgrades because Apple recognizes all the revenue from iPod Touch sales right at the point of purchase. Yeah, that's accounting for you.

That being the case though, accounting rules dictate that any software upgrades Apple makes available to original iPhone owners would have to be for a fee. Now, some might ask, "Well can't Apple just make the cost of upgrading $1?" And I suppose it's a valid question, but perhaps Apple is wary of making iPhone owners have to pay for upgrades now that they've been conditioned to receive them for free.

It's also equally possible that Apple is keen on devoting resources and energy towards newer products, instead of toiling to get the latest iPhone OS update to run smoothly on the original iPhone hardware.

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