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  • iOS 6 Breathes Life into the iPhone 3GS for Another Year


    Apple isn’t selling the iPhone 3GS that was released in 2009 but iOS 6 gives the device another year of usability, although it is lacking support for some of the newest features. The fact that that it has been three years and three months and despite the fact it has been discontinued from Apple’s iPhone lineup, the iPhone 3GS is still supported by the newly released iOS 6, making it officially the longest supported smartphone capable of running a modern operating system.

    When compared to rival smartphones, this is quite an amazing feat, especially if you think about what rival smartphones were out three years ago. These include Windows Mobile 6.x devices, Palm’s webOS Pre and Pixi, RIM’s BlackBerry 5.x lineup, and Google’s Android 2.0 Éclair. Not surprisingly, none of the devices that ran these platforms back in the day can be used with a modern operating system. Furthermore, the situation doesn’t seem to be changing either as Google, Microsoft, and RIM’s platforms are all gearing up to provide their new releases exclusively on new devices.

    It should be noted that while “the iPhone 3GS actually gets the most of the new OS’s tweaks and refinements,” it was found that “the new features also don’t slow the phone down appreciably.” This was a huge improvement compared to the previous releases of backward support.

    Features that are included for iPhone 3GS users include:


    • Do Not Disturb
    • Safari enhancements including iCloud Tabs
    • Passbook
    • Facebook integration
    • Sheets sharing
    • Camera exposure lock
    • Shared Photo Streams
    • numerous updates to Mail and other bundled app


    Features that are unsupported on the iPhone 3GS include:


    • Safari’s Offline Reading List
    • Support for “Made for iPhone” hearing aids
    • Siri
    • FaceTime
    • HDR Photos


    It should be noted that features such as iOS 6’s new Navigation, Flyover, Panorama, Siri, or Cellular FaceTime aren’t even available on the iPhone 4. It’s easier for Apple to provide a free update for a more than three year old phone because the company only has three major models of the iPhone released over the last three years, and only a couple of variants for specific carriers. This whole concept gives the iPhone a pretty high pay per value and consumers the best bang for their buck if you think about it.

    Anyone still using their iPhone 3GS on iOS 6?

    Source: Ars Technica
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iOS 6 Breathes Life into the iPhone 3GS for Another Year started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. lukeyb's Avatar
      lukeyb -
      Not a 3GS but I will be using my iPhone4 until its no longer supported, by then the newest one might actually be a worthwhile upgrade.
    1. blueglide's Avatar
      blueglide -
      I just upgraded to the 5 from my 3GS. Haven't put iOS 6 on because it is jailbroken. Never had a single problem with that phone. The 5 had enough relevant features for. Me to upgrade.
    1. playboy6006's Avatar
      playboy6006 -
      I am still using a 3GS old bootroom model 2009! It's at iOS 5.1.1 though!
    1. rcm's Avatar
      rcm -
      The 3gs will always be the great if not greatest iphone ever, very stable, really strong, and still today it supports both the current ios and most current game.
    1. xboxbml's Avatar
      xboxbml -
      Yeah...who would have thought the 3GS would turn out to be the workhorse phone that it became! I've been on it since ip4 release day...still going strong! I was on iOS 6 for about a day...went back down to 5.1.1 for the untether last night again...I'll wait till 6 is untethered...
    1. scroogelives's Avatar
      scroogelives -
      Quote Originally Posted by rcm View Post
      The 3gs will always be the great if not greatest iphone ever, very stable, really strong, and still today it supports both the current ios and most current game.
      Not completely true as there are some games not able to install on the 3GS ie grand theft auto!
    1. runey71's Avatar
      runey71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by scroogelives View Post
      Not completely true as there are some games not able to install on the 3GS ie grand theft auto!
      He did say most current games, not all.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      I loved my 3GS phones. Had a few of them and they all were very reliable. Kind of wish i still had one kicking around :]
    1. georgeD's Avatar
      georgeD -
      I don't relly get it, why there are features that do not work for the iphone4...it is not a hardware problem, so to me it is just money making business...
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lukeyb View Post
      Not a 3GS but I will be using my iPhone4 until its no longer supported, by then the newest one might actually be a worthwhile upgrade.
      Dont wait too long if u want to sell your old handset! The 2yr upgrade cycle seems perfect for selling your out of contract handset for about the price of a new one with a contract. I just got 280 for an iPhone 4 (pretty much paid for my 32gb iPhone 5), but only 100 for a 3GS (pays for a nice 4S for a family member!)

      Quote Originally Posted by georgeD View Post
      I don't relly get it, why there are features that do not work for the iphone4...it is not a hardware problem, so to me it is just money making business...
      So u do get it!
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      What about Apple Maps? Are they supported or not supported?
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Quote Originally Posted by bmwraw8482 View Post
      Dont wait too long if u want to sell your old handset! The 2yr upgrade cycle seems perfect for selling your out of contract handset for about the price of a new one with a contract. I just got 280 for an iPhone 4 (pretty much paid for my 32gb iPhone 5), but only 100 for a 3GS (pays for a nice 4S for a family member!)
      That's what I'm thinking. I upgrade every two years, with my first iPhone purchase being the 3G. I paid $200 for my 3G in 2008. In 2010 I sold it for $250 to buy my iPhone 4, 32 GB. I'm currently saving for an iPhone 5, and as soon as I get it I anticipate being able to sell my iPhone 4 for at least the $300 I paid for it. It's basically a free upgrade....no point in hanging on to the iPhone 4 when I can get the newer one for close to free.
    1. Tario70's Avatar
      Tario70 -
      Quote Originally Posted by bmwraw8482 View Post
      Dont wait too long if u want to sell your old handset! The 2yr upgrade cycle seems perfect for selling your out of contract handset for about the price of a new one with a contract. I just got 280 for an iPhone 4 (pretty much paid for my 32gb iPhone 5), but only 100 for a 3GS (pays for a nice 4S for a family member!)!
      Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
      That's what I'm thinking. I upgrade every two years, with my first iPhone purchase being the 3G. I paid $200 for my 3G in 2008. In 2010 I sold it for $250 to buy my iPhone 4, 32 GB. I'm currently saving for an iPhone 5, and as soon as I get it I anticipate being able to sell my iPhone 4 for at least the $300 I paid for it. It's basically a free upgrade....no point in hanging on to the iPhone 4 when I can get the newer one for close to free.
      Where are you selling your phones? I had AT&T unlock my 3GS 32GB Old Bootrom & then sold it on Craigslist for $200! Just have to set the bar high when listing & then just wait it out. I'm sure being unlocked raised the value of the phone but I'm surprised you only got $100 for a 3GS.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      The only reasons I would update to iOS 6 would be to fix the sluggish/glitchy iTunes and cover flow. That being said, Apple lets their devices run much later software than Android, and I don't see why people complain about it.
    1. alirz's Avatar
      alirz -
      Features that are included for iPhone 3GS users include:

      Do Not Disturb
      Safari enhancements including iCloud Tabs
      Passbook
      Facebook integration
      Sheets sharing

      what is sheet sharing?
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tario70 View Post
      Where are you selling your phones? I had AT&T unlock my 3GS 32GB Old Bootrom & then sold it on Craigslist for $200! Just have to set the bar high when listing & then just wait it out. I'm sure being unlocked raised the value of the phone but I'm surprised you only got $100 for a 3GS.
      3GS 8gb listed on Craigslist for 140, sold for 100. iPhone 4 16gb listed for 300 sold for 280 both were unlocked gsm. I think it has a lot to so with your market. Everyone around here wants/gets the newest stuffand I just wanted a quick sell
    1. mlee19841's Avatar
      mlee19841 -
      Quote Originally Posted by bmwraw8482 View Post
      3GS 8gb listed on Craigslist for 140, sold for 100. iPhone 4 16gb listed for 300 sold for 280 both were unlocked gsm. I think it has a lot to so with your market. Everyone around here wants/gets the newest stuffand I just wanted a quick sell
      I sold a lot of phones on cl and eBay. It just seems a lot of people on cl either are looking for crazy deals or they want someone to give them the phone. Also anyone notice on the modmyi app. That when u reply to a post that u have to move the screen up and hold it there while u type. It doesn't move down for some reason.
    1. jigar7's Avatar
      jigar7 -
      This is one of the reasons why I like Apple. I was surprised when iOS5 was out for the 3GS... thought Apple would leave it out. iOS6 on 3GS is even better
      This is what majority of the other companies lack... many one year old sam-suck products dont have an update scheduled for the latest 4.0-4.1 OS... only the high end phones get it. Even Moto... bought a defy XT for mum recently which is on gingerbread... an this was a phone that has been lauched only 3-4 months ago. The only reason for my purchase was cuz it is water proof and durable to quite an extent.
    1. lukeyb's Avatar
      lukeyb -
      Quote Originally Posted by bmwraw8482 View Post
      Dont wait too long if u want to sell your old handset! The 2yr upgrade cycle seems perfect for selling your out of contract handset for about the price of a new one with a contract. I just got 280 for an iPhone 4 (pretty much paid for my 32gb iPhone 5), but only 100 for a 3GS (pays for a nice 4S for a family member!)
      I've been on a dirt cheap SIM only contract for years and when I upgrade the plan has been to use my 4 as a running iPod for a long time as my old hard drive model iPod doesn't like the bumping and it will find its new home permanently connected to my car radio as then the battery having no capacity isn't an issue either. So I'm doing my own device recycling
    1. Tario70's Avatar
      Tario70 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mlee19841 View Post
      I sold a lot of phones on cl and eBay. It just seems a lot of people on cl either are looking for crazy deals or they want someone to give them the phone. Also anyone notice on the modmyi app. That when u reply to a post that u have to move the screen up and hold it there while u type. It doesn't move down for some reason.
      Oh yes it does! Please when Modmyi decides to update their app for the iPhone 5, please fix this issue, it is incredibly annoying.