How long until the iPhone 4 becomes hopelessly slow?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mossme89, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. mossme89 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 2, 2009
    So, a lot of people are comparing the iPhone 4 -> 4S upgrade to the 3G and 3GS upgrade, which has me thinking a bit. We all know how hopelessly slow and outdated the 3G has become. It started out as a good phone, but then as software evolved and new hardware came out, it started to show it's age and is practically unusable in today's terms

    The iPhone 3G became practically unusable and slow 2 years after it's release, with the release of the iPhone 4. It just couldn't handle iOS 4, and was incredibly laggy and slow. Will we see the same thing next year with the release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, where the iPhone 3GS and 4 become outdated and incredibly slow?
  2. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I'd say until the next major 1.0 release. Based on what I've experienced, iPhone 4 runs iOS 5 nicely.
  3. ap3604 macrumors 68000

    Jan 11, 2011
    God I hate that about Apple's system.

    It's not even so much the fact that eventually the iOS updates slow down your phone (because you can always refuse to update)...

    Its the fact that app developers lock you out of downloading their apps unless you have the latest iOS version!!! :mad:

    I would get it all the time on my iPod Touch 2nd Gen where I would go to download an application and it would say 'Sorry this application will only work if you have iOS 4.0 and above'

    So what happens to legacy devices once iOS 5 comes out and the devices that aren't even allowed to update can't download their apps? :confused:
  4. moel macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2007
    I think you'll be absolutely fine for another 12-18 months.

    It depends on what the A6 is capable of...I mean i'm running it on the 3GS and it's only a smidgen laggy!

    Certainly nowhere near as bad as what iOS 4 did to the 3G.
  5. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2009
    iPhone 4 can hold up fine, IMO. Even until the next release.
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    The 3GS is getting faster (in some regards) with iOS 5. I think you'll be OK past iOS 6, personally. iOS 7 might start to show it's age, but it depends what they add. My experience with iOS has been the versionw which comes out after the initial product release works as well or better than the version that came on it, and the version after that starts to show it's age, though is still workable.
  7. mattpreston11 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2007
    Its not the developers, Like now if you were a dev and submitted an app, It would require ios5 by default.

    If it was the devs choice, they would let their apps run on ios1.0, so that everyone could run them.

    In the same way dx10 (or 11?) required windows vista/7. Not because XP couldnt support it, just forces people to upgrade.
  8. ap3604 macrumors 68000

    Jan 11, 2011
    Thanks for letting me know mattpreston! So its Apple (not the developers) that's the evil entity and locks out their legacy devices from downloading applications...

    It's like, what if you have an old legacy device but have to restore it back to factory settings and you lose your apps on your phone. You just had all your apps a second ago but since you have an old device that can't download iOS 5 you won't ever be able to get those apps again! :mad:
  9. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    Well hopefully sometime since you have had that old legacy device you have backed it up with iTunes, and can then restore all your old apps.
  10. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Keep in mind that the iPhone 3G had the same processor and RAM as the iPhone, so from a platform perspective it was really 3 years old by then. Apple has bumped up processing power in every release since then.

    I am reading good things here on performance of iOS5 on the iPhone 3GS, which is encouraging. However there are definitely features intentionally disabled, even on the A4 processor (e.g. gestures on the iPad 1). I think also that Apple learned from putting iOS4 on the iPhone 3G that they need to pay close attention to the user experience, better to have users annoyed that they are losing out on new features (location-based notifications on 3GS; gestures on iPad1) than to include them and have them not work well.

    Will the iPhone 4 support iOS6? Perhaps. The 3GS I would think not, particularly in light of the 256MB RAM - the A4 processor is faster than the 3GS's Cortex-A8 but not dramatically so. Of course there could be features of iOS6 that the iPhone 4 won't support, just like the 3GS is missing some iOS5 features. But, at some point Apple will just stop supporting the iPhone 4 for new iOS releases - it won't become "hopelessly slow", it'll just stop getting new features.


    I'm not sure that reads as you intended - you make it sound as though a new app won't run if a user doesn't have iOS5, which is not true. A new app must support iOS5 - i.e. you can't submit an app that will run on iOS4 but will not run on iOS5 - but there is nothing to prevent apps from working on iOS5 and previous versions. E.g. I could write an app that has a minimum OS level of 3.1.3, and as long as it runs on iOS5 properly also then it would be fine.
  11. IcyStorm macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2010
    No, that's not how it works. It depends on the APIs and tools that devs use. If a dev uses something like an API that's only in iOS 5, then the app becomes only available in iOS 5. Heck, I think even then it still works for previous iOS versions as long as the core functionality of the app doesn't require iOS 5 APIs and functionality.
  12. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2009
    Probably iOS 6. But from my experience on iOS 5 since June, the iPhone 4 has felt a lot slower, specifically with keyboard input. Lots of lag for me.
  13. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    Actually according to Apple's web site:
    Since the 3GS is now shipping with iOS 5 that would mean iOS 6 will be available for it.
  14. futch macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2008
  15. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    Welcome to the world of electronics and IT. :rolleyes: Happened and still happens with me a lot with my desktops (an evil M$ windows user here). My old 2002 Dell ran fine for a long time til I want to run 2007-2010 era games which run fine with my 1 year old HP desktop. Oddly enough, some programmes and games from the early 2000s don't even run on windows 7 anymore (like my palmpilot software lol). It sucks but it's a fact of life in our modern IT age. I personally think the pace is a bit too fast but whatever.

    In any case, I am hanging on to my IP4 which I got in January for at least another year or so. :cool:
  16. mossme89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 2, 2009
    I think the smart thing to do (arguably) for any iPhone 4 owners would be to wait until the iPhone 5 is released before upgrading.

    The reason I say this is that I know a bunch of people who rushed to the store to buy the iPhone 3GS when it was released because it was "So much faster!", then were regretting it 1 year later when the iPhone 4 was released and they still had 1 year left on their contract.

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