iPhone 3GS, the phone that just won't die

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bniu, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    When the 3GS was released, the thing was massively overpowered and the difference between it and the 3G was quite noticeable. Now 3GS is in the middle of its 3rd year on the market, do y'all think it will be able to make it to iOS 6 nominally?

    And btw, what would iOS 6's major feature be? So far we've got App Store, copy/paste, multitasking, notifications, what would iOS 6 bring to the table?
  2. jgalan14 macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    Who knows , it will be weird to get iOS 6 on 3GS [I can't find my 3GS :( ] since is over 3 years old by when it probably gets released, but at the same time there still selling it, I have no idea why apple still have it available if they made too many copies(doubt it ) or they just want people the doesn't have money to get an iPhone for the first time (after all for a non iPhone user and coming from like a dumb phone or old android phone - the 3GS can still hold on his own). For iOS 6 mm maybe a different springboard ? Mmm idk man that's what I think is left for apple , they can just do so much or maybe live tiles ?
  3. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    I'm pretty sure the 3GS won't be getting iOS6. iOS5 is already heavily watered down, and it still gets a bit choppy every now and then.
  4. sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    The 3GS has the same CPU and GPU as an iPhone 4 / iPod Touch 4 / iPad 1, just at ~25% lower clock speeds (which is not a night and day difference, especially since the 3GS has to push a fraction of the pixels). RAM is also the same as on the iPod Touch 4 / iPad 1 (with only the iPhone 4 having twice as much).

    This is a huge difference from the 1st and 2nd generation devices.

    How long will they support it? My guess is that we won't see iOS6 on the 3GS even if it's technically possible. Apple wants you to upgrade at some point.
    So far, they have supported 3 major releases of iOS on every iPhone/iPod Touch generation:

    1st generation: iOS 1 - 3.1.3
    2nd generation: iOS 2 - 4.2.1
    3rd generation: iOS 3 - ?
    4th generation: iOS 4 - ?
    5th generation: iOS 5 - ?

    It will be interesting to see how they will handle the iPads in this respect, since they are released between major iOS releases. My guess is, that they're supported as long as the iPhones based on the same hardware architecture are.

    Far less than iOS4 was on the older devices. Every major feature of iOS5 is available on the 3GS.

    I see the same behavior on the iPad 1. I think some of it will be fixed in the upcoming releases.
    Overall, iOS5 still has some rough edges.
  5. szolr macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, UK
    I've still got a 3GS and still like it. I mean, I wouldn't say no to a 4 or 4S when my contract's ended in a couple of months. But the 3GS is still a decent phone and can hold its own with any Blackberry and many Android phones.

    It's just because it's Apple right? xD
  6. Ounce macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    I expect that when Apple releases the next iPhone they will discontinue the iPhone 3GS and not offer iOS 6 for 3GS. I think already they're pushing the fragmentation of the iPhone line pretty far, not to mention the hardware of the 3GS.
  7. roccobladr macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2011
    Right before I got my 4S i updated my 3gs and it runs like lightning compared to the old ios. If I had know it would run so well I may have waited on the upgrade.
  8. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    Where are you getting these facts from? The iPhone 4 has an A4 SoC, which is 1GHz (clocked slower, at around 750MHz) with both the GPU and CPU. The 3GS has a PowerVR graphics chip, and a Cortex A8 clocked at 600MHz.

    Although it's not the same difference in clock speed between the 3GS and the 4, it's a completely different CPU and GPU.
  9. terraphantm, Oct 16, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011

    terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    I don't know. Anyone who buys a 3GS now is stuck with it for 2 years; really wouldn't be fair to not allow those people to upgrade their os... Especially since the updates are often for security issues.

    Same GPU. And I think both CPUs use the cortex a8 architecture. They're both SoCs btw (which doesn't mean all that much)
  10. Merthyrboy macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008
    A football killed my iPhone 3Gs well the screen was cracked. Anyway the software side I think it will be able to run it. I think iOS 6 will be like what snow leopard was to leopard and optimise it and maybe make some things easier to use. Of course there will be new features but no idea what they will be.
  11. shanmugam macrumors 68020


    Sep 24, 2008
    Blazer town!
    i feel bad for the guys who is getting the iPhone 3GS right now ... (when iPhone 4 is $99 with two year contract and $550 with out contract).

    do not think you will ever see iOS 6 on iPhone 3GS.

    mostly apple strategy to keep last three generations of iPhones supported for any new iOS release ...

    iOS 6 (iPhone 5, 4S and 4) that is it.
  12. sth, Oct 16, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011

    sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    The 3GS doesn't really cause fragmentation right now.
    From a developer's point of view, the 3GS is the same performance target as the 4th generation devices.

    Both phones use an ARM Cortex A8 CPU, running at ~600mhz on the 3GS and ~800mhz on the 4.
    Both phones use a PowerVR SGX535 GPU.

    The name "A4" stands for the whole system-on-chip package, which was designed by Apple in case of the A4 and the A5. This package includes different components (mainly CPU, GPU, auxiliary chips and RAM), most of which are licensed from different manufacturers (and in some cases slightly modified to fit Apple's needs).

    [edit]: To answer the initial question: iFixit, Chipworks, Anandtech and the Apple Developer Documentation are the sources for this information.
    [edit 2]: In case you wondered: Apple's A5 contains a DualCore ARM Cortex A9 and a PowerVR SGX543 MP2.

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