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Old Jan 13, 2011, 01:22 PM   #1
AlkFoo
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How much longer does the 3GS have?

With the 4.3 udates hitting dev's, I was wondering how much longer before the 3GS becomes what the 3G is now. I have a 3G and over the last few updates have seen how the 3G has been neglected (for obvious hardware reasons) and has been slowed (speed and overall functioning).

Was wondering if purchasing a 3GS (with "mandatory" 2 year contract) is going to worth it, or within a year (or sooner or later) be frustrated by some of the same issues I am experience now with 3G. Personally, the phone is not for me but my wife (I'm holding off until summer to get on a cycle of hardwared upgrade- my contract is actually up in Feb of this year), so it would be her first iPhone.

I know the 3GS will be better then her current phone, and the deal is hard to pass up (new 8GB $49.99)... I'd just hate to see her "new" phone become slow and lagged down within the next year, and am just wondering if the 3GS is capable of hanging in with "updates" over the next 2 years (I realize we can't forsee future updates- but more from the perspective of what 3G users are dealing with now).

I've been a macrumor visitor for over 2 years, and just a recent poster, and have definitely learned a lot from this site- I just don't want to buy an iPhone that is rendered to slow speeds, misses out on "basic" upgrades, and isn't a pleasurable experience because of these issues
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 01:29 PM   #2
mullman
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It is the march of the iPhone and only you can decide when it is right to jump on and off.
Either spent $49 for a 3GS or wait for the iPhone '4GS' or '5' or whatever 2011 will bring, but it will cost more than $49.

Personally, at this date I would not buy a 3GS (2009) or an iPhone 4 (2010) if I was starting a new contract.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 01:30 PM   #3
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I would hold off and see what Apple has in store for this summer. If history is any indication, they'll release an "iPhone 5" (or whatever) and they'll keep selling the iPhone 4 at a lower price. It won't be at $49 like the 3GS is, possibly $99. The storage could be lowered to 8GB as well...
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 01:31 PM   #4
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I'd assume that after the iPhone 4gs/ 5 is released, the 3gs will go the way of the 3g.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 01:34 PM   #5
emaja
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I'd assume that after the iPhone 4gs/ 5 is released, the 3gs will go the way of the 3g.
That's my guess as well. It will still work, but when iOS 5 comes out, expect the neat goodies to be left out for the GS.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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It all depends on how apple writes the newer firmware. Right now it runs fine on the 3GS 600mhz processor, but if the next iPhone is dual core, it may have problems with software built for dual cores in mind and the added functionality.

There is also the fact that we don't know what new hardware features will be added, there is a rumor that they'll get ride of the home button, they may replace with multi-finger gestures (as shown on the iPad) or may have new hardware with a gesture area, and if that's the case older hardware with the home button won't be able to do that.

And also, apple really wants you to buy an iPhone every year so they also purposefully limit older hardware (text tones missing on 3GS, no mms on original iPhone) try really hard to get her to wait until the summer, at the very least you'll be able to get an iPhone 4 for $99.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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You could always buy a used 3GS off craiglist, then sell the 3G make some of that money back and when then when the new iPhone comes out this summer sell the 3GS.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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I am in a similar boat.

My company just recently put out into effect a mobile security policy that requires hardware based encryption on your phone.

My 3G doesn't support this. Only 3GS and up seem to allow this.

This renders my email via phone useless, and unfortunately it is a job requirement.

I REAALLLYY do not want to sign a new contract with ANYONE at this point. And thought of buying a 3GS somewhere to get me through the next 6 months of iPhone Future.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by r00ky View Post
I am in a similar boat.

My company just recently put out into effect a mobile security policy that requires hardware based encryption on your phone.

My 3G doesn't support this. Only 3GS and up seem to allow this.

This renders my email via phone useless, and unfortunately it is a job requirement.

I REAALLLYY do not want to sign a new contract with ANYONE at this point. And thought of buying a 3GS somewhere to get me through the next 6 months of iPhone Future.
Your job requires you to have a certain phone and they don't give you a phone? that sucks.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:29 PM   #11
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It's hard for me to believe that my iPhone 4 will become the "low end" model in just a few months. Though with the increased RAM and new processor in the iPhone 4, I don't think it will become as obsolete as quickly as the 3G and 3GS.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:39 PM   #12
r00ky
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Your job requires you to have a certain phone and they don't give you a phone? that sucks.
Yeah, they offered to pay for whatever upgrade I did. But its just my hesitation in signing another 2 year agreement with the current state of the AT&T/Verizon market. That and the impending iPhone 5 in 6-8 months.

Im thinking the best bet is to find a 3GS locally, swap sims, and wait it out.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:43 PM   #13
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It's hard for me to believe that my iPhone 4 will become the "low end" model in just a few months. Though with the increased RAM and new processor in the iPhone 4, I don't think it will become as obsolete as quickly as the 3G and 3GS.
Imagine how much more market share apple is going to get once the iPhone 4 is $99 and available on all carriers. Also, I have a feeling that this year we'll finally get storage bumps, and that the $99 iPhone 4 will be the 16gb model with the newer ones being 32gb for $199 and 64gb for $299.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by r00ky View Post
Yeah, they offered to pay for whatever upgrade I did. But its just my hesitation in signing another 2 year agreement with the current state of the AT&T/Verizon market. That and the impending iPhone 5 in 6-8 months.

Im thinking the best bet is to find a 3GS locally, swap sims, and wait it out.
Ok i gotcha
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 03:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by r00ky View Post
Yeah, they offered to pay for whatever upgrade I did. But its just my hesitation in signing another 2 year agreement with the current state of the AT&T/Verizon market. That and the impending iPhone 5 in 6-8 months.

Im thinking the best bet is to find a 3GS locally, swap sims, and wait it out.
If they are paying for the upgrade, then have them buy the full price upgrade which doesn't lock you into any contract.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 03:27 PM   #16
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The 3GS is a good device, and I just bought one the first day they reduced it to $49. It actually cost me $249 because I am in a contract and was replacing a lost 3GS. It is fast and can run most apps. It feels durable and less likely to break than the iPhone 4. I would be happy to still be able to use it in its current form in 18 months.
I will mention that I use the 3GS as my work phone, and have the iPhone 4 as my personal phone. So anything I can't do on the 3GS I can still use my other phone for.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 03:28 PM   #17
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This is the exact info I was looking for... I know we can't really know until models come out and updates, but my thought was I bet the iPhone 4 would be the better bet. Pricing is the issue... the wife doesn't like to spend a lot on a phone- so I thought I'd get her hooked on the iPhone with the 3GS, and open her eye's a little (and leave mine alone).

Actually could upgrade her line right now with a 3GS refurb for $19 (of course + $18 "upgrade fee"- gotta love AT&T, huh). The thought was, $37 ain't bad... but if it's slowed and unable to take the new software (let's be honest, every iPhone user usually wants the new stuff), that would suck being in a 2 year contract.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 07:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rwilliams View Post
It's hard for me to believe that my iPhone 4 will become the "low end" model in just a few months. Though with the increased RAM and new processor in the iPhone 4, I don't think it will become as obsolete as quickly as the 3G and 3GS.
I know, time flies. I was just thinking of my Colorado trip and realize it has already been TWO years now. Felt like I was just there last week. I remember when flip phones with camera were all the rage in 2003 - 2004. You can now get phones like that for prepaid for like $30 as flip phones are pretty much DEAD. I say in 2020, we will have phones like the iPhones and Androids we have now that will be for the cheap prepaid buyers. After CES, I just realized how quickly my iPhone 4 is starting to look long in the tooth. The explosion in tech will slow down eventually just like in gaming and the PC market. Once tech slows down in evolving, the product cycles will get longer or we will purchase newer phones based off trends/fads or simply getting complacent/fickle/spoiled with our phones for the last two years.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 08:39 PM   #19
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If they are paying for the upgrade, then have them buy the full price upgrade which doesn't lock you into any contract.
I should have mentioned they'd pay for the upgrade "within reason", aka, we'll get you a new iPhone but under contract.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 08:43 PM   #20
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Considering you'll be paying thousands of dollars over the next two years anyway why not just buy the iPhone 4? It's $150 dollars more for a phone that will end up costing you as much as a Macbook Pro.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 09:12 PM   #21
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Why don't you use her upgrade and buy a iPhone 4 now and give her the 3G to use. When the next iPhone comes out get that one and give her the iPhone 4 that's only a few months old. Sell the 3G on Craigslist after that.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 09:26 PM   #22
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I think when iP5 is released and gets the newest iOS, the 3G AND 3GS will not get the update. Processors wont be strong enough and battery life wont be worth it to them to update it.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 03:46 PM   #23
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Why don't you use her upgrade and buy a iPhone 4 now and give her the 3G to use. When the next iPhone comes out get that one and give her the iPhone 4 that's only a few months old. Sell the 3G on Craigslist after that.
I wish I could... but my 3G has a major issue- HOME BUTTON non-workification (sorry, I tend to make up words). But yeah, the home button stopped working about 3 months ago... I must now use top bottom, type in "lock" code, go to "emergency calls", then back (arrow) to home screen... pretty much a 10 second delay when trying to access apps, safari, basically everything.

I think the 3GS refurb ($19) is no longer an option. I told her, "babe, I'm going to buy you a phone with my money". She laughed, "Your money, is our money... I don't get it" I think with my upgrade I'll go IP4S/IP5 (Summer release- whatever they decide to call it) and with hers (also in Summer, with new pricing) the iPhone 4.

I think knew the entire time that the temptation to save money now (3GS refurb) would lead to a head ache later (it being phased out sooner rather then later).
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 03:54 PM   #24
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I think when iP5 is released and gets the newest iOS, the 3G AND 3GS will not get the update. Processors wont be strong enough and battery life wont be worth it to them to update it.
That's assuming they bloat iOS even more than they did with iOS4.

3GS battery is almost as good as the iPhone 4 anyway due to the screen
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 03:57 PM   #25
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My 3GS was an excellent phone, my 4 is mediocre at best.

I'd wait for the next model which is bound to be far better. Although seemingly all Apples products have a halo around them, the 4 would have been an embarrassment if the company cared.
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