iOS 6 is coming in the Fall and the release will be the first big test to enterprise iPad tablet life cycle management processes. Until now all versions of the iPad have been compatible with new iOS releases so there has never been a security or compatibility required reason to upgrade to the latest and greatest iPad. Upgrades were based solely on the desire to have the latest and greatest gadget or due primarily to new device acquisition timing.
The announcement that iOS 6 will not be compatible with the first iPad is a game changer for enterprises that haven’t thought out their renewal strategy yet. This announcement is sure to have a drastic effect on reducing the number of first generation iPad devices inside security conscious businesses. This is really no different than when Microsoft sunsets a legacy version of Windows and announces that security and service pack upgrades will no longer be available after a certain date.
What new risks will user’s of legacy iPad devices face once iOS 6 is released?
- Increased risk of application instability as app vendors phase out support and testing for first generation iPad devices
- Application incompatibility for apps focusing on taking advantage of retina screen and other enhancements targeting iOS 6 capable devices
- Increased risk of security vulnerability problems if first generation devices are not updated for important security bugs found in iOS 6.0 upgrades. I have not seen definitive word from Apple that important updates to legacy iOS will not be provided but the writing is on the wall.
It has been a good run first generation iPad but expect many of you will no longer have a place in the enterprise once iOS 6 is a reality. Corporate user’s with a first generation iPad who couldn’t justify an upgrade rejoice, you soon will have one courtesy of iOS 6.