iOS development: what hardware for testing?

As per the subject: if you are going to develop for iOS what hardware (i.e. phones and tablets) properly represent the variations? What can you get by with as a minimum? What is preferred (if in budget)?

If you want to support the original iPad it’s best to have one. But is it necessary to get a 2 and a 3/4?

I assume the mini can be skipped as it’s essentially a shrunken 2. If something runs on the 3 I’d assume it’ll run on the 4 no problem (though not vice versa).

So minimum ipads:

  • iPad (original)
  • iPad2
  • iPad Retina (3rd gen)

What about iPhone/iTouch?
Is it worth attempting to support anything older than the 3GS?

There are 3 resolutions to support, so one of each?

  • 3GS
  • 4
  • 5

Given that the iPad 1 never was sold that much and is no longer supported, you could skip it.
The mini on the other hand is a tricky thing. If your game is not dependant on touch precision, then right, you can skip it.
But if you depend on touch precision then the ‘same as ipad2 but much smaller physical space’ actually has an impact and the experience can suffer significantly.

As for older than 3GS: you can not support them at all anymore.
3GS is the oldest that can be targeted any longer (ARMV7).

If the 3GS is of interest to you depends on your targets. 3GS can not update to iOS6 anymore and its performance is often not enough to do anything with more sophisticated calculations or physical setups. It is also severly limited on the ram side.

Whats relevant is to get an ipod touch 4 / iphone 4. They have the same gpu as the 3GS but need to render 4 times the pixels which often causes major framerate problems whenever a game is GPU bound.
Also an ipod touch 5 is a good idea if you can afford it. Its interna is the same as iphone 4s but it has iphones 5 new 4" retina resolution which add extra space