Apple iOS 9 upgrade could make old iPhones feel new again

Older model iPhones could get a new lease on life with Apple rumoured to be making its next software upgrade more compatible with legacy hardware.
(How to install iOS 9 On iPhone/iPad/iPod touch)

iPhone 4 and 4S users have been shortchanged in the past when upgrading to iOS 7 or iOS 8, with reports of slowed and buggy performance.

Until now Apple's approach has been to create its next iOS with all the bells and whistles, only to strip some of the new features away for older devices.
(How Recover Lost Data from iPhone after iOS 9 Upgrade)

The big reveal: Apple's annual developer conference takes place from June 8-12.

Sources told 9to5Mac the tech giant is now taking a ground-up approach by first building a core version of iOS 9 that works smoothly on the iPhone 4, iPad Mini and subsequent models, before layering on more features for newer devices.

The support for old models of iPhone and iPad may seem counterintuitive for a manufacturer such as Apple whose steady growth relies on selling as many new devices as possible.

But Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said keeping all its users happy was key for Apple to retain brand loyalty.

"Keeping older devices alive is Apple's thermonuclear war against Android playing out," Mr Fadaghi said.

"Apple is realising that expensive new devices might not be in everyone's budget range and if you force people to upgrade, this might create a basis to switch platforms."

While the latest Apple smartphones – the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – produced record sales in mature markets such as Australia, older model iPhones are still selling well in other parts of the world, Mr Fadaghi said.

Apple's trade-off of making old iPhones "new" again in iOS 9 means the operating system is expected to have less new features than previous software upgrades, with 9to5Mac'ssources noting a "big focus on quality" rather than quantity.

"I wouldn't say there's nothing new for consumers, but the feature lists are more stripped down than the initial plans called for," a source told 9to5Mac.

Apple is thought to be taking the same approach with its Mac software upgrade, OS X 10.11.

The upgrades are expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in the second week of June.

Other features on the cards for iOS 9 are a new security system; a new default font called San Francisco, which also features on the Apple Watch; a Home app for managing HomeKit connected devices; split-screen viewing mode for apps on iPad; and an improved Apple Maps app.

More info:

How to Restore Disappeared Data from iPhone iPad iPod after iOS 9 Upgrade

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