A leaked internal memo shows that the 2007 breakthrough device will be reclassified as obsolete this summer meaning that owners outside the US will no longer be able to get their devices serviced.
According to the document first published by 9to5Mac, from June 11, a number of aging Apple products will no longer be supported by the company. As well as the first iPhone from 2007, other devices on the list include older notebooks and desktops, notably the mid-2007 20-inch and 24-inch iMac, the late 2007 13-inch MacBook, the MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.4/2.2GHz processor and 17-inch, 2.4GHz processor), which will retain ‘vintage' status in the US can no longer be serviced at Apple retail stores and will be classed as obsolete in Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Japan and Latin America. However, the 17-inch and 20-inch iMac G5 with iSight, and the 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4 (with double layer Superdrive) will be classified as obsolete in all territories including the US.
If an Apple product is defined as ‘vintage', it can still be serviced, but only in the state of California, in line with the state's statutes. The full list of devices can be seen at http://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/screen-shot-2013-04-29-at-7-17-58-pm.jpg.
Due to the phenomenal rate of change in the tech industry, the need to cut support for aging products is a necessary evil and each of the products on the obsolete list has reached or is nearing its seventh birthday. For example, the chipset that powers the 17-inch iMac G5 is no longer in production. The original iPhone doesn't support 3G and has 10 times less RAM than the majority of current, entry-level smartphones. Likewise, the latest versions of mobile and desktop operating systems are designed to run with the latest processors and graphics cards, meaning that older devices are unsuitable for software upgrades. This is one of the reasons why companies such as Apple and Microsoft continue to provide support for older versions of their operating systems so that older computers and other devices can remain useful for as long as possible.