You are probably right about Apple going ahead with the schedule change despite knowing iPad 3 owners would be upset. My guess is they just didn’t anticipate such a high degree of displeasure. Apple’s premium pricing strategy is heavily dependent on its brand loyal customers. So when the complaint decibel goes up, Apple is too astute to ignore it.
I recall an editor friend saying Apple eventually reinstated some features of Final Cut Pro 7 into FCPX, a couple of years after taking them out. And yes, it was because there was a big brouhaha about the whole issue.
The thing is I don’t complain just to voice my displeasure. I do it because I think Apple is a great company, and I want it to remain great and that will only happen if it listens to customers and evolves. Let me explain.
But first, I have to say you are wrong about the differences between iPad 3 and iPad 4 being minor. I recall the iPad 4 chip had been upgraded from A5X to A6X for double the performance. That’s not a minor difference, and it kept rankling through every one of those five years.
The A6X also meant the iPad 4 could be upgraded to iOS 10. So why upgrade when it will slow down the machine? There are many reasons, and I’ll give you one. I use my iPad a lot for reading, and used to have an app called flux to reduce eye strain during night reading. Some time later, Apple built in flux’s technology into iOS 10. (Let’s leave aside the questionable ethics of that decision as it’s not relevant to this discussion.) Unfortunately, Apple also disabled flux and removed it from the App Store saying it was using documented APIs which isn’t allowed. As a result, my iPad 3 was no longer night-reading friendly while the iPad 4 still was. So three years after learning my iPad 3 was outdated, the rankling rankled some more.
If flux could work on my iPad 3, the least Apple could do was release a version of NightShift that works on older iPads. Or else, just let flux be. It’s not like the developer wasn’t willing to work with Apple. They had numerous conversations over the course of five years to no avail.
This rigid inflexibility towards loyal Apple users and developers isn’t good for Apple. So I’m glad to say Apple seemed to get the message that it can’t just take away features to push customers to upgrade. My 2011 iMac doesn’t have the new NightShift feature that came with the latest MacOS update (10.12.4). But flux is still working on my iMac.
You can still say all this is conjecture, and you would be right as I can’t prove any of it.
So I’ll keep complaining, you’ll keep accepting, Apple will keep listening, iDevices will keep improving, and we’ll keep agreeing to disagree :-)
Oh, about those strong words. I’m Dad to a 14-year old. Enough said.