UPDATE: Our Aol sister site Engadget reports that Apple appears to have fixed the bug, and that users running iOS 3.1.3 are again able to download apps in the App Store. Hooray!
One of the great privileges of owning a handheld Apple device is access to the app store, but if recent reports are true, some iPhone and iPod Touch users have found themselves deprived of that privilege.
A long series of complaints in Apple's official forums show that those using the first-generation iPhone as well as early models of the iPod Touch have been unable to download new apps from the app store on the newest iOS for those devices, iOS 3.1.3. These older devices can't run iOS 4 or iOS 5, so owners of the early-generation iPhone and iPod Touch are essentially "stuck" with this older OS; updating to a newer version of IOS is not an option for these earlier devices.
Forum users report a wide range of problems and display errors when attempting to use the App Store. Here's a typical screenshot of an attempt to download an app, via Mweisner on the Apple forums:
Representative of the complaints:
Whenever I go into a specific app in the app store, none of the buttons work properly.
I had no problems downloading apps on my iphone through the appstore a few days ago
I can download apps on my PC and push them to my iphone.
I have plenty of free space and icon positions/pages for more apps on my phone.
Its just the appstore on my iphone that NO-Longer works!
Same problem here in U.S., iPhone 3G running iPhone OS 3.1.3. I've already restored my phone to factory default and the same issue exists. This is definitely an issue on Apple's side which Apple must resolve.
Apparently, users with the iPhone, iPhone 3G and older iPod Touch models are able to download apps onto their computers and them upload to their phones via USB sync. However, they find themselves locked out of the App Store when attempting to directly access it on their devices.
Engadget surmizes that this is either a software glitch or "the company has decided to leave those old versions on the outside looking in."
Cnet's Lance Whitney reports that Apple is "looking into the matter and promised to get back to [him] with more information."
We've reached out to Apple for comment, and we'll let you know if we hear back.
Are you using an older-model iDevice? Let us know in the comments (below) if you've experienced a problem accessing the App Store from your device.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post claimed that the iPhone 3G could not run iOS 4. It, in fact, can run up to iOS 4.2.