If you ignore Apple‘s fumble with the Apple Maps app, then their latest mobile operations system, iOS 6, had 200+ great improvements and was well received. However, iOS 6 has a dirty little secret… it doesn’t work on the iPad 1. Unfortunately, this means that your 1G iPad will become little more than an expensive paperweight as new apps and updates to your existing apps start to require iOS 6. I’ve seen this first hand with my iPod Touch 1G.
Are you angry yet iPad 1 owners? I thought so.
I own a 1G iPad myself and it’s extremely frustrating to see such an expensive purchase become basically obsolete only 2-years after it was released. Even my old iPhone 3GS (I know, I have a lot of old Apple gear) was able to update to iOS 6 and it came out almost a year before the iPad 1.
So why did Apple quietly abandon the iPad 1 with iOS 6? According to documents they had to disclose during their lawsuit with Samsung, Apple has made $39 billion dollars from iPad sales since 2010. Are they just greedy and want us to buy more iPads? I’m sure Apple wouldn’t mind if we did. But the real reason why Apple had to discontinue support for the iPad 1 is most likely lack of RAM.
The simple sad fact is that the iPad 1 only has 256 MB of RAM. Back in 2010, that was enough to handle iOS 4 and the current crop of available apps in the App Store. It also helped keep the iPad’s price down. But as the apps and OS got more complicated, and started running in the background, I’ve seen major performance issues on the iPad 1. The only reason why the iPhone 3GS, which also only has 256 MB of RAM, can handle iOS 6, is screen size. With the smaller screen, the 3GS can probably get away with running iOS 6 on only 256 MBs of RAM.
So now myself and millions of other iPad 1 owners are left with an expensive paperweight.
What should we do? I suggest putting as many non-Internet required apps on your iPad 1 as soon as possible, and never syncing/updating your apps again. If you update an app to an iOS 6 version in iTunes on your computer and then try to sync your iPad 1, the old version of the app will just get removed from your iPad 1. I’ve seen this firsthand. The home screen on my iPod Touch 1G is pretty barren. It still works, but it’s little more than a very slow web browser. And unfortunately, it’s a sad prediction of what my iPad 1 will become over the next few months.
Some other things you can do with your iPad 1 include:
- Use it in the kitchen as a recipe look-up tablet
- Be thankful you didn’t sell you kidney to buy one (true story!)
- Give it to an elderly family member or friend
- Blend it
- Shoot it with a shotgun
- Sell it (do it fast!)
In the future, let’s hope Apple adds “2-year+ lifetime” to their long term product strategy.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.