Apple won’t offer iOS update for recently sold iPod touch model

If you’ve got an iPod touch and are hoping to upgrade to iOS 7, the all-new version of Apple’s handheld operating system, you may be out of luck, even if you purchased the device earlier this year.

Apple isn’t offering a version of the new software for the fourth-generation version of the iPod touch, which Apple sold until May. Instead, the only version of Apple’s iPod touch that can run iOS 7 is the latest model, the fifth generation version, which Apple only began selling last fall.

That version was the first iPod touch to sport a four-inch screen like that on the iPhone 5.

Apple is releasing iOS 7 on Wednesday. Redesigned under the supervision of Apple design guru Jony Ive, the new software sports a flatter, cleaner look and lots of new features.

Apple continued to sell a $200, 16-gigabyte version of the fourth-generation iPod touch after it launched the new, larger screened model. At the end of May, it finally phased out the fourth-generation iPod touch, replacing it with a $230 fifth-generation model.

 The inability for owners of the fourth-generation iPod touch to upgrade to iOS 7 is similar to the move Apple made last year, when it released iOS 6. Apple declined to make a version of that upgrade for the original iPad, a device that was less than three years old.

In addition to not getting the new look, the older iPod touch will also miss out on some new features that Apple is building into iOS 7, including a quick settings area that allows users to easily turn on or off their WiFi and Bluetooth antennas.

More seriously, the iPod touch users will miss out on security updates. When Apple discontinues supporting an older device or software, it no longer makes available to them security updates, even when new vulnerabilities are identified.

The fourth-generation iPod touch isn’t the only Apple gadget that won’t be able to upgrade from iOS 6 to iOS 7. The iPhone 3GS, which Apple first released in 2009, also didn’t make the cut.

Otherwise, all devices that can run iOS 6 will be able to upgrade to the new version of the operating system on Wednesday. That includes the iPad mini, all big-screened iPads from the iPad 2 on and all iPhones from the iPhone 4 on.

However, as is typical with iOS upgrades, older devices won’t get all of the new features in iOS 7. For example the new burst and slow-motion camera modes will only be available on the new iPhone 5s. And the panoramic shooting mode isn’t available on the iPhone 4 or on any of the iPads.

Air Drop, a cool new feature that allows users to wirelessly share photos and other files with other iOS devices users in the same room, isn’t available on the iPhone 4 or 4S or on any iPad other than the iPad mini and the fourth-generation of the full-sized model, which was released last fall. And Siri still isn’t available for the iPhone 4 or the iPad 2.

Photo, of Apple’s fourth-generation iPod touch, by Mercury News Staff Photographer Maria J. Avila Lopez.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Share this Post

  • CPA01

    Fragmentation! And there’s nothing an Apple user can do about it.

    Unlike rooting and ROMing that Fandroids can attempt.

  • forresttanaka

    Wolverton didn’t mention it, but the reason the iPod touch 4th gen doesn’t have iOS 7 support is that it has an A4 processor, and iOS 7 has a requirement for an A5. Apple seemed to have learned their lesson from supporting the iPhone 3G with iOS 4, where they had to field complaints about slow performance. Wolverton also didn’t mention why AirDrop needs such recent hardware. It requires a very recent wifi chipset which earlier iPhones and iPod touches didn’t have. Wolverton is also wrong with the statement “When Apple discontinues supporting an older device or software, it no longer makes available to them security updates, even when new vulnerabilities are identified.” I have an old MacBook running an old OSX, and it still receives security updates.

    Is this article link bait? I don’t understand why there’s no basic research in it.

    • goldblattster

      The iPhone 4 has an A4 too, and it’s getting the update, so I don’t think there’s an “A5 requirement”. That said, the touch in question only has 256MB of RAM (iPhone 4 has 512) so that could be the reason.

      • Shyliah Daniels

        Sorry but I care because if u don’t care why did u look at this site?…

    • chris

      no one really cares 🙂

      • Shyliah Daniels

        I CARE!!!!! And if u don’t care why did u look at this site…?….

    • Sid Saber

      No the iPod 4th gen dosen’t have an A4 processor it actually has a Samsung Processor, and ios 7 is supported on the iPhone 4 which has an A4.

      • Trans1000

        No it does

  • M. Andrews

    Sleazy… charged full price for a product they new would not be supported …

  • chris

    ipod touch 6th gen 🙂

  • Brittany

    I don’t like this because all my friends get the update but I can’t because it isn’t supported for the 4th generation. I think they should be able to but thats my opinion

  • Shyliah Daniels

    Please apple give forth gens a chance on ios7 it’s not that far behind……..

  • Max Ed

    the ipod touch 4th gen barely handles ios 6 think what would happen if it had ios 7

  • M. Andrews

    S L E A Z Y

  • Brian

    They still could have given it an update. To be honest, all i want is the new design, like with the messaging. But if they think I’ll shell out for a new iPod for the one I have that works perfectly fine, they’re wrong.

  • j238

    Not really news. Apple has consistently made its latest software incompatible with older hardware.

    They used to support two generations of hardware, but now that generations are generally coming out every two years, the “last generation” now is older than the “last generation” was three years ago.

    The 4th Generation iPod Touch was originally sold with IOS 4. Users have received two free upgrades since then.

    It would be nice to get another one, but no one should be complaining about this.

  • John Shepard

    Only Apple product I own is an iPod Touch 4th gen, and it was given to me for free. But. I want iOS7, so they need to give me a free iPod 5.

  • Bill

    And you know why the 4th gen iTouch didn’t get iOS 7, just like the iPhone 3GS? Both devices only have 256MB of RAM. The iPhone 4 and A5-based devices have 512MB, and it’s questionable at times if that’s enough to properly run iOS 7.

    iOS 6 on both the 4th gen iTouch and iPhone 3GS was jenky at best, and I’m actually glad they didn’t put iOS 6 on the original iPad for that reason (which also only had 256MB or RAM).

    BTW, AppleTV 2nd and 3rd gen devices run iOS, but they run a much lighter-weight version of an already lightweight OS. Both also have 256MB of RAM, but both devices are single-task only and backrow actually quits while running anything outside of the core apps.

  • Sid Saber

    The iPod touch 4th generation is older than you guys think. It has a Samsung processor in it even though its widely thought of to have an A4. It only has 256 mg of RAM. Not to mention its polished aluminum back retains a lot of heat which can severely set back the processing speed. So all in all if they gave the update to iPod touch 4th gen users they would have a very trimmed down version of the software or they would have a very choppy and crash filled experience.

    • Trans1000

      As much as you want to think, the iPod 4 indeed does has the A4 processor.