CNET reported the news initially after spotting Philips Hue’s Twitter account confirm the change to a user. A spokesperson told the publication that “The Hue bridge v1 no longer has the resources to guarantee the evolution of the system -- from compatibility and quality, to speed and security -- thus we decided to end the support for it.”
After April 2020 no software updates will be made available for the Hue Bridge v1 and compatibility with our online services will be terminated at that time. The Hue Bridge v1 can still be controlled locally via the dedicated Philips Hue Bridge v1 app. >>— Philips Hue (@tweethue) March 6, 2020
The first Bridge hub was released in 2012 and plugs into a WiFi router to maintain control over smart lighting within the home. It uses Zigbee near field radios to do this, but the newer hub uses Bluetooth and while isn’t necessary for simple smart lighting uses, it is still required for more advanced features.
While you’re going to be annoyed if you own a v1 Bridge, eight years isn’t a bad lifespan for a first generation product in a young category like smart home devices. In contrast, many £1,000 flagship smartphones may only get two years of software updates before being technically insecure (although they do not lose functionality in the same way).