Time to Upgrade that First Generation iPad, No iOS 6 Support

Before Apple’s big announcement on Monday, we told you about iOS 6 build leaks that did not include the original iPad or any iPod touch older than the current generation.

Once all the fancy features of the upcoming operating system were announced at WWDC, it was made clear that Apple only looks forward, leaving its eldest iPad behind.

With everything that is coming this fall in iOS 6, it may be time to upgrade.

The original iPad is less than three years old. It was released in 2010. The thousands of early adopters, myself included, thought it was the most advanced piece of technology to come out in the 21st century. Then, the iPad 2 was release and proved us wrong. When the third-generation iPad hit store shelves, it blew all others out of the water. But there are still techies out there that are holding onto the first iPad because, up until two days ago, it was a viable device. Not anymore.

Second and third-generation iPad owners will get an upgrade that will include the virtual personal assistant Siri, who will be able to tell you sports scores, find you a restaurant and recommend a movie. The upgrade will include Facebook integration, photo stream sharing, a proprietary 3D mapping service and a handful of new, native apps that are sure to impress. First-generation iPad owners will get nothing.

Not only will original iPad owners be left out of the iOS 6 craze, but it is also likely that app developers will start to update their applications for the new operating system, making it incompatible with any device not up to speed. You’ve seen those disclaimers in the App Store: “ Not compatible with ‘X’ generation device,” or “Only works on iOS ‘blah, blah, blah’ and later.” That’s going to include the first-generation iPad come this fall.

Currently, Apple is still selling refurbished versions of the original iPad on its online retail store in the “Special Deals” section, but only a select few. You can buy a refurbished iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G 16GB for only $379. With the exception of the 64GB with Wi-Fi model, the only first-generation iPads that Apple is selling are Wi-Fi + 3G models. My prediction is that won’t be for long, either.

I think that Apple will continue to sell refurbished original iPads until iOS 6 is ready for the public. This fall, while we’re all cursing our devices because we can’t figure out how to download the new operating system and we accidentally deleted all of our contacts, Apple will quietly put the old dog down. There is no reason the tech giant would want to keep selling a device with an obsolete operating system. That is just a lawsuit waiting to happen.

If you weren’t ready to upgrade before, now is the time. Or, at least this fall is the time. Your first-generation iPad is soon to be about as useful as a serving tray. You may as well give it to little Bobby Jr. to play with. You don’t have to go full-steam ahead. You can still get the iPad 2 and have most of the same, great features that the third-generation iPad has for $100 less (although, it looks like Apple only has the 16GB size in stock on the online retail store). However, I recommend the new iPad. The Retina display graphics are fantastic and the device is much more powerful. Plus, you’ll have at least an extra year before that one becomes obsolete, too.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Mbart44

    Have you ever heard of the jailbreak community? Dude, you need to get a grip. Almost all of the announced features of ios6 will be available on the first gen ipad before the official release this fall. In fact, I believe these will start showing up in Cydia in the coming weeks. My jailbroken iphone 2g is far more useful to me than my plain old 3gs. My first gen iphone can do things that my stock 3gs can’t even think about doing.

  • OnTheWrite

    This is not the first time that Apple has made orphans out of its user base and it won’t be the last. 

    I still use and will continue to use my iPad 1st Gen. There is little doubt judging from iOS5 that my 1stGen lacks memory and processor power to deal with Siri and any of the other memory hogs. 

    It is not a dissimular experience from my Commodore 64, IBM AT or my first Everex 386-16. I am not a newbie at technology obsolescence.

    The iPad 1stGen is useful hardware and will continue as such until a killer iPad application comes out that I just have to have.  

    Calling it a “serving tray” is ridiculous as it is condescending.

  • cpc464freak

    So my iPad is only 3 years old and Apple is dropping support for it, cya Apple, no more bucks from me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/manuel.cervantes.9484 Manuel Cervantes

    The point is not that we won’t be missing anything, it’s that Apple doesn’t care about customers. Their thinking is that the original customers of the iPad don’t matter if they’re not willing to fork over $600 to $700 bucks every few months to stay current. Calling the first gen iPad a serving tray is generous.

    I was getting ready to buy a Mac Pro with retina to replace my old PC but as soon as I found out that the latest upgrade will leve me out as to my iPad 1st generation it’s back to Microsoft comatible PC’s or laptop/tablets

    east they support their products for years after new software comes out