If You Have An Original iPhone, It Won’t Work On AT&T Anymore

Image courtesy of andy_57

It’s unlikely that anyone other than the most stubborn users are still using the original iPhone or feature phones from the era of 2G networks, but AT&T has announced that it has finally cut these users off.

The planned network shutdown at the beginning of the year is now complete, and you’ll be forced to use your antique rudimentary smartphone on WiFi if you still have one.

Users of 2G devices have had plenty of advance notice, since AT&T first announced the transition four years ago, and has been trying to coax users to switch to newer devices with discounts. The carrier notes that mobile data usage has increased 250,000% since 2007, and it plans to dedicate the spectrum that shutting down the old network frees up to LTE, the network generation that most devices in use today use.

Since a 2G-only phone is definitely off-contract by now, T-Mobile, the other U.S. carrier with a compatible (GSM) network, has stepped up and offered a “lifeline” to AT&T users still running 2G devices. At this point, 2G devices that customers want to keep going are more likely to be older cellular-connected “smart” devices than phones, mainly GPS and real-time tracking devices in cars and trucks.

The first iPhone lacked apps, and Apple’s decision to keep it on 2G at the time was controversial when even feature phones (which aren’t quite smartphones, but you can use them to do more than talk) had 3G capability at the time. At least they do connect to WiFi so people who still have theirs around can turn them on and remember how much phones have progressed in that time.