updated 06:35 pm EDT, Sun May 1, 2011
iOS 5 testing as far back as iPhone 3GS era
Further anecdotes of iOS 5.0 device testing have suggested Apple is once again going back about two years for device support. While it was already known to be going back to last year's hardware, 9to5 has seen instances of the iPhone 3GS and the third-generation iPod touch. The crash longs generating the reports wouldn't guarantee support but suggested that iOS 5 was at least being designed with 2009-era hardware as a factor.
iOS 4 was the first Apple mobile platform to start cutting off device support and excluded both the original iPhone and iPod touch. Apple eventually dropped the iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch from iOS 4.3, presumably after new features became too demanding. A cutoff at the iPhone 3GS would mirror this for iOS 5 and could see the older phone miss out on speed-dependent features.
Most expect iOS 5 to be shown in beta form at WWDC in June and ship along with the next iPhone in September.