Whilst 2017 marks ten years since the original iPhone was introduced and eventually released, it also now marks the year the device will cease to function in it’s first release country, the US. AT&T, or Cellular at the time, was the preferred partner chosen by Apple for the original iPhone, to run on their 2G network at the time.
The iPhone expanded it’s barriers very soon after, being exclusive to the O2 network in the UK until the later life of the iPhone 3GS when network availability grew, though in the US, the iPhone didn’t expand away from AT&T until the later life of the iPhone 4 when Apple announced a special version built for Verizon Wireless. Today, naturally, the iPhone can be found on pretty much any Carrier network around the world.
Announced January 1st 2017
The announcement from AT&T, which you can find here, spoke upon the closure of their 2G network a few week back on New Year’s Day and it’s plan for discontinuation.
What this means is anyone who still owns an iPhone 2G will no longer be able to receive any service, affectively making the iPhone useless minus the use of Wi-Fi.
The original iPhone was released June 2007, then discontinued in 2008 following the release of the iPhone 3G, later classed as obsolete by Apple in 2013, so such discontinue shouldn’t come as much surprise. The last version of iPhone OS software, 3.1.4 will remain the last version released for the unit.
AT&T claims shutting down the 2G network frees up valuable spectrum for future network technology, such as the upcoming 5G, which we can’t wait to see.