I’d say it’s good change. Within 2 months of when the iPhone 5 was released, about half of the apps I use most had received updates that optmized for the larger screen. After 7 months though, the remaining apps still haven’t been optimized, even though many of those apps did receive updates in the meantime. As of May 1st, a developer can’t just post a bugfix without also optimizing for all the different iPhone screens.
That would have been a nightmare. A lot of apps would need to redesign UI's and create new graphics. Let's say it took 2-3 weeks to get all that created, working, and tested. What if they had some urgent bugs they needed fixed before then? Or developers who didn't manage to get the device on launch day and had to wait a few weeks. Are they supposed to release updates which include iPhone 5 support having only tested the iPhone 5 portion in the simulator?
iPhone 5 requires Xcode 4.6, which doesn't allow to build apps for iOS < 4.3.
Apple isn't good about keeping its build tools compatible with older editions of OS/X or of IOS. It's a little tough for them since their systems are built to last for so long with better hardware components.
If it weren't for that irony, the iP5 requirement probably would have gone into effect the day the iP5 was released.
This got better when iOS 6 got jailbroken, but it's still an annoying forced obsolescence. The reason they did it this way is unclear as well.
Compared to later models, their share of the total iOS devices sold is very low. About 30 million iPhones of the first two generations were sold. About 20 million iPods touch of the first two generations were sold. Out of 550 million total iOS devices, that’s under 10 percent. And of course, many of those older iPhones and iPods touch are not in use anymore.
The iPhone 3G is a 5 year old model. You can continue to use all the apps you’ve ever bought for it, you just won’t receive updates for them, as you’ve chosen to run 3 year old system software.
Either way, many people with older devices choose to keep them on older OS versions for precisely this reason, so it will be an issue for some.
Bottom of this page.
The list you were replying to was the list of devices from 2008 and earlier that are end-of-lifed on iOS 4. That is also the list of devices that you basically have to abandon if you begin targeting iOS 6 and iPhone 5.
http://stats.unity3d.com/mobile/index-ios.html (Below iOS 5/Other: 1.2%)
http://david-smith.org/iosversionstats/ (4.3: 1.6%)