October 1, 2012

The iPad 1

Marco Arment:

“everyone who bought an iPad at least 19 months ago has an iPad 1, and their unsubsidized, non-contract, $500+ tablet is going to grow much less useful over the next year as apps start to require iOS 6. This has naturally angered a lot of iPad 1 owners.”

That would be me. My iPad 1, an anniversary gift from Kelly, is my in-car GPS, book reader, travel computer and all-around handy gadget. According to Marco, though, Apple's choice to build it with less memory a few years ago means it's locked out from new iOS versions, and the app updates that will require them. iOS 6 marks the beginning of the end for it.

Only a fool expects technology to hold value indefinitely, but a mere year-and-a-half is ridiculous for a $500+ device. Frankly I'd prefer to suffer balky operation under iOS 6 than enforced obsolescence so soon.

Despite the urge to get the most sale value from it, though, I'll hang onto my iPad 1 at least until next spring, when we'll likely see the next generation iPad. We managed to wring three years of heavy use out of our old iPhones, until they were no longer useful. That's the future for my iPad, too.

In the mean time, though, I have a pair of recently-retired iPhone 3GS's now collecting dust. The batteries require a recharge so often that they're best used as music players in a speaker dock. I wonder what use I can find for a washed-up iPad?

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