Does the performance of the iPhone get slower as it gets older

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
157
Hi all

I have an iPhone 3G that I have had for about 2.5 years.
Now its on OS 4.2.1 as that's the last OS for the 3G.
Yes I know that OS4 onwards has killed this phones performance, but I can swear this it is slower now than it was when I first put OS4 about a year ago.

What I tried as a test and was to backup my phone on my PC, so that I have all my settings and sms's etc.

I then went to my Laptop and did a OS restore to 4.2.1 so that I have a fresh install and with no apps and junk on the phone that may slow it down.

It was still just as slow.

My questions is, over time from age and usage, does the iPhone get slower?
Is it the 16GB SSD that is dying, or something else?
Lastly, short of buying a new phone, is there anything I can do to help restore some speed?
 

adam30k

Gawd
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I think Apple was overly optimistic with whether the original 3G could handle 4.2.1. In general I've heard others agreeing to this even saying Apple does it to sell new phones, hop on the conspiracytheorycoptor!

I have an original 3G and when I did a clean restore it did speed up so I'm not sure if there was something else slowing it down.
 

Sean

[H] for Life
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It's well documented that the performance on 4+ on the 3G iPhone has really gone down hill. So much so they released an update that addressed those issues.

I find my iPhone 4 is slowing down after a years worth of updates. I as well reset it every so often.
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
157
Yes it is true the OS4 has crippled the 3G.
But my concern is that over time and usage the phone itself has become slower and that even a fresh install doesn't help, as maybe the 16 GB storage is slower than it was 2.5 years ago when I bought it.

Is that possible?
 

Sean

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It's all about the software/firmware that's running on the device. The only other thing would be environmental factors like moisture damage, or drops. It can "burn" out but then you would have an unstable device, not a slower one. If you left the device on it's original firmware and you never upgraded it, it would be much faster even today.

The flash drive shouldn't get slower, but will get smaller as the area's to store the data degrade. The hardware it self doesn't get tired. Now your battery might not be optimal, and then some parts aren't getting the right voltage, but that's the only other thing I can think of. You battery is way past it's best before date.
 

Chris F

Weaksauce
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May 25, 2011
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I have a 3G. The phone was so terrible with iOS 4 that I reverted to 3.1.3 and have no intentions of ever updating the phone further. If you are not averse to wiping the phone you should try reverting to 3.1.3.

IMO your user experience will be a lot better unless there is some feature of 4.0 that you absolutely must have. (I can't think of any)
 

mjz_5

2[H]4U
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May 24, 2001
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its slower with iOS4 is because it does alot more stuff.. spell check and such
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
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Oct 21, 2003
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157
I think i need to find a way to get it down to 3.1.3
Will lose a lot of small cool features that OS4 brought.
But if I can't use it for it's most basic task, then there's no point leaving it on 4.2.1.

All the ways I've seen to downgrade below OS4 look hugely complex for a novice.
 
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MaxBurn

[H]ard|Gawd
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You did a restore "as new" and still feel it wasit is slower than it used to be? I dont see how that is possible. On macrumors most of the advice for 3g people is just go 3.1.3 and jailbreak for a couple of the 4.x features that are important for you if you feel you are missing something.
 

KENNYB

2[H]4U
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Yes it is true the OS4 has crippled the 3G.

It sucked and sucked bad. The iOS4 code base is optimized to run on the iPhone 4 (and later) CPU. Little effort was made to get this to run well on the 3G. Anandtech ran a story about this a long time ago and I'm too lazy to go looking for it.

What makes matter worse is Apple doesn't make it simple to downgrade. Downgrading should be as easy as downloading a downgrade IPSW.
 

Archer1212

[H]F Junkie
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Messages
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turn off spotlight search. Helps general performance. Also try doing a DFU restore to reset the firmware.

The problem is that an iPhone 3g is basically an iPhone first generation with a 3g antenna. Also iOS 4 on the 3g really doesnt add much feature wise anyways.
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
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Messages
157
I did a full restore to 4.2.1 and turned off spotlight search.
Still slow.
I need to find an easy way to get it down to OS3.1.3.
 

AVT

Supreme [H]ardness
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3GS on iOS 4 is slower than 3GS on 3.1.3 but not by much, still faster than 2G on 2.0. I'd like to see how my 3GS handles iOS 5.
 

KENNYB

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If iOS5 ran netflix I would install it on my girlfriend's 3GS. As soon as I can I will report back.
 

PNut12345

Supreme [H]ardness
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I did a full restore to 4.2.1 and turned off spotlight search.
Still slow.
I need to find an easy way to get it down to OS3.1.3.

http://lifehacker.com/5572003/how-to-downgrade-your-iphone-3g-from-ios-4-to-ios-313

Follow the directions from the above link. Make sure you grab the version of recboot that does NOT require libusb. Other than losing all your contacts/emails/SMS history this route is pretty painless. Takes about an hour max, including wiping the phone and installing 3.1.3. Just follow it step-by-step. I've posted that method a dozen times on the apple support forums; the mods keep deleting it, which is the best proof I can think of that it works.

If your experience is anything like mine, your 3G will only be un-fucked for a few months, then the instability issues will come roaring back with a vengeance. Use that time wisely by shopping for a new phone.

For a real laugh, call apple support and see what they can do to help you. Their script for this issue is to tell you to light yourself on fire for steve jobs' amusement. Your experience with apple support should, in this case, be bad enough that you'll swear off apple products forever. Their official update, officially supported on your device, broke your device, and according to apple the only way to fix it is to buy an iphone 4.

Or, you could just smash your head into a brick wall repeatedly, instead of calling apple. You'll still get nothing out of it besides a headache, and you'll waste less time by making your head hurt using my method.
 

dr.stevil

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OP, as most others have said, it's due to iOS4. It's a dog on the 3G. The 3Gs (or iphone4) would be a much better phone for iOS4 if you can find one cheap. My roomate has a 3G with iOS4 and I don't know how he can stand using it. It really is a painful experience.

I don't think that it has as much to do with the phones processing power as it does the extremely limited amount of memory avalible to it.

You have two options that you can try to recoup some of that performance. If you jailbreak your phone, you can try removing some of the launch daemons. You can read more about it here. I've never tried it, but have heard good things about it.

Your other option is downgrading it back to iOS3.x
 

Absentee

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If you're not afraid of jailbreaking (and there's no reason to be), google whited00r.

It's a customized version of 3.1.3 with many packages preinstalled to make the user experience much the same as it is in iOS4. I had it on my 3G before I got my 4, and it was much faster than any iOS4 version.

Folders, multitasking, etc are all included without any setup and it works the same as iOS4. The only time you will notice it is if you install any apps that require an API that is only in iOS4, which does happen every once in a while, but it's worth it to have a usable phone.
 
Joined
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But my concern is that over time and usage the phone itself has become slower and that even a fresh install doesn't help, as maybe the 16 GB storage is slower than it was 2.5 years ago when I bought it.

Is that possible?

No. The 3G is 3 years old, and time has proven its age. Mine really hit the end of the line a few months before the 4 launched (which I replaced it with). The 3GS is MUCH more competent.
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
157
Well I have managed to get OS 3.1.3 on it now and after only using it for a little bit it feels much faster now.
It's completely fresh install and I have no settings and sms's etc to restore to it as my last backup was from OS4+.That's not a problem though.

I will jailbreak it in the next few days after I have used it as is for a while.
I might test whited00r as Absentee as mentioned.

@ illgiveumorality: I know the 3G is 3 years old. I meant that MY 3G is 2.5 years old. :)

Depending on cash and how good the next iPhone is I might upgrade.
In the meantime I can use my 3G again.
Thanks guys.
 
Joined
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@ illgiveumorality: I know the 3G is 3 years old. I meant that MY 3G is 2.5 years old. :)

I was referring to the tech inside, and was saying no to the drive slowing down over time. More importantly, I was suggesting that the sooner you let go of your 3G, the happier you will be ;)
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
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Messages
157
Well phone has been running on OS3.1.3 for nearly a week and I wanted to Jailbreak.

So I run RedSn0w and it tells me it can't recognize the IPSW.
WTF.
I used iPhone1,2_3.1.3_7E18_Restore.ipsw and tried a whole bunch of Redsn0s from 0.9.4 to 0.9.6rc14
So now I'm a bit stuck and not sure how to Jailbreak the phone.

Help :)
 

dr.stevil

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Well phone has been running on OS3.1.3 for nearly a week and I wanted to Jailbreak.

So I run RedSn0w and it tells me it can't recognize the IPSW.
WTF.
I used iPhone1,2_3.1.3_7E18_Restore.ipsw and tried a whole bunch of Redsn0s from 0.9.4 to 0.9.6rc14
So now I'm a bit stuck and not sure how to Jailbreak the phone.

Help :)

edit: try sn0wbreeze or Spirit on windows


if you're on Mac, try pwnage tool. if you're getting errors, try using an older version of itunes.
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
157
Well I used sn0webreeze and it made a new .IPSW file.
Then it told me to restore the iPhone with that file.
I did that and right at the end I get an error that the restore failed and error (6).
Now can uninstalled iTunes and installed and older one, 9.0.2.25.
Now I'm trying to restore the phone again.
I might have killed it :(

Will see.
 

mjz_5

2[H]4U
Joined
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Messages
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Well I used sn0webreeze and it made a new .IPSW file.
Then it told me to restore the iPhone with that file.
I did that and right at the end I get an error that the restore failed and error (6).
Now can uninstalled iTunes and installed and older one, 9.0.2.25.
Now I'm trying to restore the phone again.
I might have killed it :(

Will see.

if u need help.. i have all the files and guides to restore ur iphone 3g.. let me know
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
157
I used sn0webreeze to create a modified .IPSW file but none work.
iTunes goes through the whole restore and fails at the end.
Error (6)

But I can still restore to the normal 3.1.3
 

Eiolon

Gawd
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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
928
I've got a 3GS running whatever is the most recent. I have noticed a performance impact. It's not much, just the navigation when I switch between screens or open and close apps doesn't seem to be smooth. It feels like I am using an Android phone. But it's still very usable, just not as smooth. iOS5 will probably be released to make us 3GS owners buy new phones.
 

NSS1995

Limp Gawd
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Jun 25, 2011
Messages
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I have noticed that on iOS devices, when i had the iPhone 3g it degraded in performance in the 1st few months... and now i have an itouch 4 and it has a slower feeling to it day-by-day.
 

NSS1995

Limp Gawd
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this is why i use android, it runs exceptionally fast and they r improving everyday.
 

refraxion

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this is why i use android, it runs exceptionally fast and they r improving everyday.

Thanks for the APPLE related input, in an APPLE sub-forum.

I own the 3G and the iPhone 4, and I still believe Apple intentionally cripples the phone to sell the next one.. haha.
 

ToddW2

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this is why i use android, it runs exceptionally fast and they r improving everyday.

my droid based phone was unusable in 10 months, my wifes' approx 12 months. My iphone is awesome after months and way more apps than my droid no slow down, and it does more, works smoother, looks better, and is faster in all aspects.

Will I try another droid? Sure maybe next time... but right now I`m staying away.

The android is still playing catch-up to IOS imho + i've yet to see a screen as nice as the iphone.. they are getting there but not yet.

Sorry to get off track ;)
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
157
I have managed to unlock my iPhone 3G on OS3.1.3 using Spirit.exe
About time.

I have put SBSettings and a few toggles.
But I Push is broken as email send to exchange don't give me a notification and only show up when I open the email app.

YouTube still works as I do remember there was an issue with Jailbreaking OS3 a while back that required a fix.

But Push is broken and now I'm you-tubing for fixes.
So far none work or they don't exist anymore.

Also, I have never ever had Facebook or Twitter Push notifications work.
But now that emails is broken too I'm annoyed.
 

nobody_here

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my droid based phone was unusable in 10 months, my wifes' approx 12 months. My iphone is awesome after months and way more apps than my droid no slow down, and it does more, works smoother, looks better, and is faster in all aspects.

Will I try another droid? Sure maybe next time... but right now I`m staying away.

The android is still playing catch-up to IOS imho + i've yet to see a screen as nice as the iphone.. they are getting there but not yet.

Sorry to get off track ;)



I wipe mine and flash a new rom and/or kernel every month or so. That way I am getting a continuously improving experience and as a result of flashing all the time its always fresh. You might say that is too much to be bothered with but honestly if you have Titantium Backup configured properly it takes a whopping 5 minute long reboot to flash a new rom and bring back all of your apps and settings.

My current phone has features and speed it still wouldn't have. I enjoy staying on the leading edge of Android development but I realize some people just want their phone to work and don't care why or how and for those people the iPhone is great.
 

Nocturnal

Gawd
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I've owned several and each one has done this. The most annoying thing about the 4 is that the home button wears out and you'll have to hit it square in the middle and very hard in order for it to take. I guess ever since introducing multitasking the home button takes a beating.
 

PNut12345

Supreme [H]ardness
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Dec 27, 2004
Messages
4,383
I have managed to unlock my iPhone 3G on OS3.1.3 using Spirit.exe
About time.

I have put SBSettings and a few toggles.
But I Push is broken as email send to exchange don't give me a notification and only show up when I open the email app.

YouTube still works as I do remember there was an issue with Jailbreaking OS3 a while back that required a fix.

But Push is broken and now I'm you-tubing for fixes.
So far none work or they don't exist anymore.

Also, I have never ever had Facebook or Twitter Push notifications work.
But now that emails is broken too I'm annoyed.

Try your GPS now. Lulz should ensue, or tears spawned of pure hate...one of the two.

This actually gets much, much worse. Brace yourself.
 

PHOBOS-82

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
157
Wierd one.
I installed a DATA toggle in SBSettings.
That seems to have been whats broken the PUSH notifications.
I have wifi connection on at home so even when I turn data off, the phone is not completely disconnected from the net.
But emails and Facebook will not get pushed when data is toggled off, but they will appear as soon as I open email or Facebook.

So switching DATA off has a side effect of switching PUSH off (even though its on) lol.

The reason I installed the DATA off toggle in SBSettins is because I don't see one in the settings menu like in OS4.

However I also tried to install Push Doctor in Cydia but that failed with errors towards the end and that installed so much crap. I don't know if it had any effect but i will need to restore my OS3.1.3 and start from scratch. I will do that after I test more tweaks and stuff and then once I got a list of what I want I will start from fresh.

Youtube and GPS seem to work fine.


Update:
More testing has found that yes indeed switching data off in SBSettings does seem to switch off PUSH aswell, even though I'm on a wifi network. The emails only appear when I open the mail app. same for facebook.
The work around I have found for that so to, well, keep data data on, but to go to the APN settings and add a . at the end of the address for Cellular Data: APN.
I have tested it and works for me.

On top of that while data was on I was getting billed for usage. Small amount, but over time it will add up. At least now I can switch if off when I don't need it, and switch it on when I need notifications outside a wifi zone.
 
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