The original iPhone will become completely useless in 2017, with the phone’s exclusive carrier AT&T planning to take the 2G (EDGE) data network offline.
By January 1st, 2017, original iPhone users will be left without a cellular data connection. 12 percent of current AT&T customers that have data contracts posses devices limited to EDGE. That’s 8.4 million subscribers. The firm said that they’ll aid customers in carrying out the transition to more modern devices before the aforementioned date.
An AT&T SEC filing explains:
Also as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our network performance and help address the need for additional spectrum capacity, we intend to redeploy spectrum currently used for basic 2G services to support more advanced mobile Internet services on our 3G and 4G networks.
We will manage this process consistent with previous network upgrades and will transition customers on a market-by-market basis from our GSM and EDGE networks (referred to as 2G networks) to our more advanced 3G and 4G networks.
We expect to fully discontinue service on our 2G networks by approximately January 1, 2017.
AT&T’s plan to cut its support for EDGE begs the question what consumers are still doing utilizing the original iPhone? The iOS device has even been limited to iOS 3.1.3 firmware update due to limitations.