It is well known that Apple loves its early adopters.  Many of its products wouldn’t be successful without these brave souls who pick up the devices first and then go out amongst the masses to let them know how wonderful they are.  However, it appears that Apple’s love only lasts for so long.

While the biggest news to come out of the developer release of iOS 4.3 was that Apple was adding hotspot capabilities to all iPhones, it seems it’s only for certain versions.  As a matter of fact, the operating system is only for certain versions of the company’s hardware, period.

As you can see from the image above, there are downloads in the developer area for the following devices:

  • iPad
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPod Touch 4th generation
  • iPod Touch 3rd generation

In other words, iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 1st generation and iPod Touch 2nd generation owners are out or luck.

This is not the first time Apple has left devices out of an upgrade of the iOS, but it’s the first time for the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2nd Generation.  What I think we’re learning here is you can only count on two generations of operating system updates from Apple on iOS devices, or, in more specific terms, your shiny new Apple product has about two years of life before they no longer care about it.

True, Apple is constantly upgrading processors, hardware and so on, but considering the premium pricing Apple products command, doesn’t two years seem a bit of a short life span?  Imagine that in 2012 Apple stop supporting the original iPad, and even if you purchased the low-end 16GB Wi-Fi only model, you’re looking at $250 a year to own that device before Apple no longer considers it worthy of their attention.  I admit to owning several Apple products, but when looking at it this way, it may make me start thinking twice about it being worth going for anything past the most basic model.

What say you?  Should Apple give a bit more support time to upgrades for its products?

[Thanks Andy]