Last night, 9 to 5 Mac reported that AirPlay on iPhone 3G has disappeared from the iOS 4.2 GM build.

Although the Apple website clearly states, “AirPlay is coming soon and will be available on all iOS 4 devices,” the below photo shows the missing icon on an iPhone 3G (pictured top) with iOS 4.2 GM installed:

There is no official word from Cupertino on why this feature was removed from the iPhone 3G. It’s plausible that AirPlay wasn’t working correctly on the 3G. After all, many 3G users complained of laggy, slow phones after updating to iOS 4.

Apple appears to be stripping new features from older iPhones; notably, Gamecenter will not be available for the 3G. Logically, the older hardware may not be able to handle the resources needed to power AirPlay or Game Ccenter, nor are these features vital to the normal operation of an iPhone. How much are you missing by being excluded from those two features?

Cynics will believe Apple is stripping these features to force 3G owners to upgrade to the 3GS or 4, especially if they want to use AirPlay in the new Apple TV. (At time of posting, we have no official confirmation on a release date for Apple TV software update enabling AirPlay.) The general release of 4.2 will likely not have AirPlay enabled until the Apple TV update is available.

However, the Apple TV is not an essential device for any consumer. If a consumer owns a television and has cable/DVR service, then there is no feasible need for most of what Apple TV provides. The exception would be Netflix streaming, but that can be accomplished through a PlayStation 3, Xbox, Wii, your iPhone (!) and a personal computer.

Based on that line of thinking, I believe AirPlay is being disabled in the iPhone 3G due to its hardware’s inability to handle the feature. Since the 3G is already two years old, it’s not crazy to suggest that most consumers using that model will upgrade in the next year or so – especially when the next generation iPhone is announced.

Are you a 3G user? Are you furious you won’t have AirPlay in the next iOS update? Leave those thoughts, along with all others in the comments below!

Article Via 9 to 5 Mac

Photo Credit: 9 to 5 Mac

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