iPhone 3GS won't be getting iOS 5 update? [Rumor] [Updated]

No rumor season would be complete without an off-the-cuff, out-of-the-blue tweet from Eldar Murtazin and this one about the two year old iPhone 3GS not getting iOS 5 doesn't disappoint:

Just one comment. Apple iPhone 3Gs wont be upgradable to iOS 5.x. iPhone 4 will.

iOS 5 is expected to be revealed at WWDC in June. Although the iPhone 3GS is currently still on the market, Apple has previously discontinued software updates for older iOS devices like the original iPhone 2G -- and more recently the iPhone 3G.

And who knows, if iOS 5 requires a minimum of an Apple A4 chipset to run at acceptable performance levels, then maybe Murtazin might have something. We'll have to wait for WWDC to find out.

What do you think, iPhone 3GS owners?

UPDATE: Some folks are pointing out that Murtazin said iPhone 3Gs, not iPhone 3GS, as in he meant the plural form of iPhone 3G. And since they didn't get iOS 4.3, it stands to reason they wouldn't get

[@eldarmurtazin via MacStories]

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

iPhone 3GS won't be getting iOS 5 update? [Rumor] [Updated]

85 Comments

Typical and not surprised at all. God forbid a $200 phone last more than 2 years. Gotta entice folks to buy another one.

Just because you cant update to iOS 5 doesnt mean it hasnt or cant "last"
Its still 100% usable on iOS3 or 4. You cant expect them to support old hardware with a new more complex OS.

Ah, the standard Apple cop-out, point the finger at someone else. Weren't they supposed to be better than everyone else? FYI, 386's are 26 years old, not two.

If they're going to sell the 3GS as new, and they are now, then they need to support it for a couple of years.

Pretty much every manufacturer does that, not just apple. Can you name many android phones from 2+ years ago officially running android 2.3? BlackBerries?

Again, the standard cop-out. This is Apple we're talking about, not Google, HTC or Samsung, wasn't there supposed to be a difference in quality, support, customer relationship etc? Anyway, 3GSs are still being sold, there is a big difference here.

You seriously expect a new os to support outdated hardware? Can you install snow leopard on iMac G3?

That sucks! Just bought a 3GS a month ago ! Now , to use iOS 5 im gonna have to sell it and save on an iPhone 4 ... Not cool.

Your fault fOr buying an old phone. What did you expect? You couldn't fork over a little more fOr the iPhone 4?

seriously, why would you buy a 3GS now anyway? Should have gotten the 4... if the problem is $ then you shouldnt even be considering an iphone... go get one of those cheap boost mobile phones lol

I hope it's true and I'll move on to Android. The 3GS is a very fast phone and has everything The only thing iPhone 4 has that I actually like it's the screen because and I think most people have a point and shoot camera.

If you think Android is immune from the OS fragmentation then you're dead wrong.
There are still perfectly capable phones running 2.2 when 2.3 was released months ago and 2.3.4 released recently. Android is even worse for supporting older hardware than Apple considering how fast Android phones are being released.
Expect whatever Android you buy today to be obsolete and non-upgradeable to the newest OS in 6-8 months.

LMBO! LMBO! LMBO!
So, almost all of the current Android phones are dual core. Do you seriously think the one he picks would be outdated in 6-8 months? :-D My Evo [which leaves much to be desired; can't wait for Evo 3D] is over a year old and it is getting Gingerbread "soon". I guess that disproves your 6-8 months [seeing as it is almost 12 months old]. :-D Again...L...M...B...O!

Wow. 'Soon'. What was a flagship phone, less than a year old, is getting an OS that was released (on the Nexus S) three months ago, 'soon'. Don't you feel special?

I actually use my iPhone 4 more than I use my Olympus DSLR now, I definitely use my iPhone 4 as a refinishing device. I haven't touched Paint Shop since getting my iPhone really... but I'm kind of overkill, I have about 27 apps combined photo and video.

Hey bud, I like Android, but unless you plan to buy a Nexus phone... The commenters are right, you are gonna be in for a nasty shock.

Ofcourse Apple wasn't going to keep updating OS for older models but still a bit disappointing. I'm not one to buy new gadgets when current ones still work great so prob won't be updating. I been on team "pure" but if this is true, I'm going to give jailbreaking a try.

It is better that they don't have a IOS 5 upgrade for the 3GS if it makes the 3GS run like the 3G does on IOS 4. As long as they continue to support IOS 4, eg Bugs and security fixes, through the lifespan of the 3GS, that would be fine with me.

Apple doesn't do patching. If they don't support the product with the latest version, it's done being updated. No bug fixes or security fixes.

This is why I won't buy another iPhone. I like to keep my phones for 3 years, I take good care of my products, Apple seems to be giving these phones two years. Then the develops start making apps 5x compatiable only and what not. Terrible.

That's the biggest problem, I think. It would stink to have a 3GS and not get the latest OS, but it wouldn't be the end of the world as iOS 4 is still a great, functioning iOS. The stinker will be when apps are built and require iOS 5... that's when the 3GSers are really going to feel left out.

this is typical now in apple dont be surprised when you by a two year old iphone and dont have any updates.

I say if they still sell the 3GS, then the software should still be supported by that product. Until the 3GS gets fazed out, there should be no excuse

My guess is the 3GS will be discontinued and the iPhone 4 (8GB) will be the new $99/$49 phone. AT&T and/or Apple definitely want to get rid of those 3GS sets they have if they're making them as cheap as $49.
Maybe when the iPhone 5 is released, the 3GS will be a "free with contract" phone until the supply is depleted. Obviously, you can't expect too much new software for a free phone though.

Eldar knows nothing about Apple. He's a great Nokia/Symbian blogger. Apple not so much.
You guys are acting if this is true. But this blogger basically has no history with Apple. It's no better than analyst speculation.

That's a li'l too quick frankly... at least for Canadians whom can only get iphones with 3 year contracts which is basically a 'screw you' to canadians since it means our 3 year contract phones are scheduled to not be able to keep up for the last year. If they got a 2 year contract option that'd be fine...

110% agree but to be fair that's Canadian mobile providers fault and not Apple's . Nowhere in the world do people get more screwed when it comes to mobile plans then here in Canada , no phone last 3 years , why the f*ck should our contracts

People shouldn't be too shocked , first off the 3Gs probably won't have enough RAM to run the new OS so it's better to leave it on iOS 4 where it runs SUPER FAST then upgrade to iOS 5 and brick the phone, just because you may not be able to update to iOS 5 doesn't mean the phone is garbage. Secondly compared to RIM and Android , apple is by far the BEST company when it comes to OS support ! RIM OS 7 won't work on phones sold LAST year ! Android , good luck ! You'll get the most update software when the OEM feels like it and not a second sooner .

I agree with others, if iOS 5 is not compatible with the iPhone 3GS then it's definitely time to jailbreak, since there will be no future updates that will kill the jailbreak! Maybe this will help the jailbreak community to thrive?

Not too unexpected. The real bummer is when all the apps purchased will not run well on the 3GS because they were optimized for the iPhone 5 and the iOS5. I had already put it in my mind to purchase the iPhone 5 if there were substantial changes that I didn't get with the iPhone 4. If Apple pulls another small incremental change like with the iPad 2, then I may just stay with the iPhone 3GS. With one and a half years to plan and design for the next iPhone, I hope that Apple proves all the rumors wrong and blows us away with something that will make Google step it up a notch.

This is fine no big deal. 3GS is a good lil phone and will have many lil roles, it won't just go away. One of the ones I have I keep on 4.1 and does fairly well at *gasp phone calls and holds up pretty well on SMS. I don't see that changing much but up to you to formulate your own conspiracy theories.

Good, i have a 3gs currently and hope the next iOS pushes the envelope with features and abilities. The phone is 2 years old, which is ancient for a smartphone.

So if this is a fabricated story, the rumor that it's really attempting to fuel is that iPhone 5 will release alongside iOS 5. If that happens it will put the 3GS three generations back, old enough from apple's point of view to be cut out of power hungry processes/apps. Hmmm

While it sort of rubs me the wrong way that they might not allow the 3GS to upgrade, what bugs me even more is that they won't have a new device for me to buy by the time iOS 5 comes out. My 3GS is looking pretty rough, it needs to be replaced. But I passed on the iPhone 4 because of the glass back (WTF?). Fine, don't update 3GS, but at least give me something else to buy.

Honestly folks, it sucks but iOS 5 will be only that much better if it can push the tech that much further by not sweating the need to support old hardware. I'm fine with the decision because of that fact.
Consider how much better Windows XP could have been had it not had to support a Pentium 223 Mhz PC with 64 MB of RAM. :-)

Well said... A 2+ year phone is plenty long enough before cutting off the support... Heck.. The G1 got what maybe a year of upgrades and that was googles flagship phone. If it was still supported android would've dies innyear one. But since big bad apple sold more 3GS's, now it's not okay.. Double standards

For once, I agree with you 100% :D It's not like Apple is stopping support for the iPhone 4... that would be horrific. It's pretty standard to put the new OS on the new phones and support the previous generation, right? I don't see this as much of a surprise. If you just bought the 3GS for $49, you had to have known it's because the phone is at the end of its cycle.

Hehe...good to agree at times. :-D Yeah, folks gotta know the deal w/ these old phones. Push forward! I'd love to see it happen on OSX and Windows too. lol

I think Apple will give the 3GS users iOS 5. Only because all the iPhones down to the 3G had support for 3 software cycles. I don't think that will change anytime soon but I could be wrong though it's apple we're talking about.

I don't thing the 3GS should get it. It sounds like the new os will be to advanced for it. No matter to me I have a iphone 4 and I upgrade every year.

I bought my new 3GS 14 months ago. I love it, still consider it a fairly new device and I'll be ticked off if Apple leaves it in the dust now.

Stupid rumor is stupid. This doesn't make any sense from a performance point of view. The iPhone 3GS nad iPod 3G have roughly the same performance as the iPhone 4 and iPod 4G - the processor is the same Cortex A8-type, the GPU is the same SGX535, the RAM is the same for all devices but the iPhone 4 and they have only 25% of the pixels to power. Nothing similar to the extremely huginormous difference in performance between 2nd and 3rd gen devices.

I'm sure the 3GS will be like the 3G initial update will not have many features then by 5.3 or,whatever, just left, the 3GS has been the cheap iPhone as the 3G before it and so some support will be there for it for a bit longer

I agree! If anything, the 3GS would get a subset of new features from iOS 5 - Just like the 3G got later on in it's support cycle...

It would be logical if they didn't leave out the 3GS since the performance difference between 3GS and 4 is really small, a lot smaller than between 3G and 3GS.
Anyway you usually have your phone with a 18 or 24 month subscription so a 2 year cycle wouldn't mess anything up.

Youre just a cheapass and an idiot if you buy a 3GS now with iPhone 4 out... simple as that.... dont complain that you arent getting the update.....you pay for what you get...

Apple has every right to do this. If you want the latest and greatest purchase it! Don't expect a free update to give you new features.

Just saying, iPhone 3GS is a more powerful phone than a verizon iPhone so that isn't it. It's Apple being complete douche bags.

I think I am going to wait and see what apple says, if they say 3GS cant run iOS 5 then I will believe it but at this point I don't believe it.

It's a let down, but in my opinion, this means iPhone 5 is coming this fall. Apple is well known for supporting the current version and the previous version of hardware with the iPhone. If they are only going to support current (iPhone 4) then that means it's going to be the previous version very soon.

If they do support the 3GS at all, it will be very limited much like they did with iOS 4 (no multitasking, etc on 3G).

Like many others I'm not surprised they would do this. I would at least expect them to give the 3GS some partial upgrade like they did for the 3G. Unless iOS5 is a complete or near complete overall in appearance and functionality then I can understand. If nothing major changes then I just see this as them trying to make more money.
AT&T is still selling these phones yet they'll continue to cut off updates ? The 3GS is still capable of every non hardware feature in iOS4 , it CAN support iOS5.

Funny thing is, no matter how many of you complain, a good chunk of you are still going to go and buy the iPhone 5, thereby supporting apple's system. Cry about it. Apple's not going to change its ways. They have great customer service at the repair level, but everywhere else is crap.

i throw my iphone 3g away and got a 3gs and if apple dont want to support iphone 3gs on ios 5 im going over the android or nokia a better company than this shitty one. Well done apple you screwed yourself you fucked urself in the ass. Good job!!

3GS will be getting 5.0, I've already read this from the Apple IOS developer pages. His tweat definately meant plural of the 3G phone won't be getting it, which is totally a given and shouldn't be a suprise to anyone seeing as how the 3G has already been cut off for sometime on an earlier 4.x version.

Apple should not have release IOS5 for the 3GS.
The update of the iPhone 3Gs if awful. Updates should never break things that work. After updating my iPhone, WiFi and Bluetooth sensitivity are down. I cannot connect to the WiFi in my house at 12 ft. Bluetooth loses connectivity at just over 2 ft ( from my ear to my pocket), come on now, all this worked well before the update. App's are very jumpy, not nearly as smooth as before.
If this is Apple's way of forcing an update, I may not be an Apple customer anymore.