Jobs: Performance fix for iOS 4 on iPhone 3G coming soon

Steve Jobs has purportedly told a beleaguered iPhone 3G user that an iOS 4 performance boost is coming soon via software update. Here's the complaint:

I've waited patiently through 4.0.1 and 4.0.2, looking for a fix that will make my phone work again. I've read the forums that advise me to jailbreak my phone or use some other method so I can downgrade back to a version of iPhone 3, however I'm not prepared to use a method that is not supported by Apple.

And the reply from Steve Jobs:

Software update coming soon.Sent from my iPhone

iOS 4 performance on the 2008 iPhone 3G has been so slow and stuttered for some that they've taken to doing clean re-installs and turning off Spotlight completely just to make it usable. If the email is real, and Jobs is referring to iOS 4.1 -- which is still in closed developer beta -- than the time frame is likely next month when Apple holds their traditional special music event and releases the OS.


Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • sure it is, just like the proximity sensor fix right?
  • I would not rule out a 4.0.3 update sooner that addresses 3G performance and will be checking for it at my nearly daily sync's.
    I have been suffering since the release of 4.0 and only yesterday discovered the Spotlight indexing issue. What a difference! This alone saved me from an unnecessary iPhone 4 upgrade. Oops, I hope Steve doesn't read this last part.
  • @rob why do you doubt that the next significant release of the OS is going to have a proximity sensor fix? Do you think the proximity sensor problem is a hardware-only issue like the antenna short?
  • "There is no reception issue. Stay tuned,"
    Because terse Jobs emails have sooooo much credibility.
  • Finally. I can barely use my 3G for anything anymore.
  • A friend of mine upgraded his 3G to IOS4 when it came out and was suffering from the same performance issues. He took the phone to an Apple store to complain and they gave him a new 3G with no questions asked. Maybe the beleagured user could try to do the same thing?
  • Hope so... I haven't upgraded to iOS 4 on my 3G because of the performance issues.
  • How didn't they notice before releasing it
  • It isnt just a problem for 3G users. My 3GS has been a nuisance since upgrading to iOS4.0, 4.0.1, and now 4.0.2. The phone runs significantly slower and freezes several times per day requiring reboots.
    Bottom line, iOS4 is NOT truly compatible with iPhone 3G and 3GS. Maybe less of a problem with 3GS,but still a problem. Rebooting my phone several times per day is not acceptable performance.
    And yes, I've done the spotlight thing and have also "restored" the phone multiple times and set up as "new phone" rather than from backup.
    I have been an Apple fan for many years and our household is filled with Macs, iPods, and iPhones.
    If Apple doesnt fix this iOS4 and iPhone 4 diasaster, I will consider Android. Just checked out HTC Droid Incredible and Motorola Droid X and think they are fine competitors.
    Eagerly awaiting iOS4 fixes and iPhone5, otherwise Android here i come.
  • My 3G worked so poorly after iOS 4 My wife forced me to upgrade to the iPhone 4. I know some would say poor baby, but I wasn't ready to upgrade but was basically forced to. Which I believe was apple's plan all along.
  • I hope the upgrade will address the 3GS as well.
  • My 3G drove me to get a blackberry, I use it as a household iPod Touch cause the delay in the smallest things had me frustrated constantly. If this is true I'll pop my SIM back into my iPhone if not I'm giving it to my mother let her deal with the nuisisance of crashing apps and constant lag
    Done venting
  • I've never seen a 3G even on 3.0 or so that performed at an acceptable speed. I updated my 3GS to 4.0.1 b4 I sold it and it seemed to go even faster then it did on 3.1.3. The person I sold it to has not had any trouble but he definitely notices my iPhone 4 is faster for some things.
  • iOS 4, clean install, works terrifically on my 3GS. On my 3G it works in clean install with spotlight turned off but not great.
  • My itouch works just fine!! Wats with all the fuss.
  • Ever since I upgraded my 3G to iOS 4 it's been nothing but a headache. Slow, frequent crashes, and often the whole phone will reboot entirely. If this doesn't fix it then I'll go back to 3.1.
  • A 4.0.3 fix off a few complaints is unlikely as this is simply a performance issue and not something that could affect all the phones Apple actually cares about (read, all those above 3GS or frankly, 4, these days) 3G is a backburner issue at best, and it's not something that actually "breaks" functionality. Apple just figures this as a PR thing which will remind users "hey, we at Apple DO care and will provide software upgrades for even these old, useless pieces of hardware, even though all the new software won't work well for them; SO why don't you get a shiny newe Iphone4... you are at the upgrade period end, after all!"
  • @thekevinmonster
    i doubt it because there has been no fix yet AND the betas for 4.1 haven't fixed it yet. we're coming down to the wire here with 4.1 and it's starting to seem like apple is hoping we forgot they said they were going to fix it. i love everything else about my iphone 4, buy muting people and putting them on speaker phone is embarrassing.
  • My 3G on iOS4 works fine except for having to wait a few seconds every time I tap a button, or when half my apps crash, or when some apps don't even start, or when my synch to get iOS4 forced a full restore. I do like the the folder icons. That works great. Bottom line is I was a recently converted Apple fanboy (my new Macbook Pro & iPad are awesome) evangelizing the Apple is greater than thee spiel, but now I'm back to earth. They are all just computers. They break. They frustrate. They make life kewl too.
  • I have no idea who they screwed this one. Why the heck release the OS for the 3G when there's so many problems. Did they not try to install it and use it? I guess the same guy who tested the iPhone 4 antenna tested this OS on the 3G. Apple needs to get rid of someone ASAP. This is getting ridiculous. I can't use my phone at all!!!
  • Soooooo frustrating waiting for a fix. I'm sick of Apple and all their mistakes and lack of QA. Is it too much to ask for a phone that actually works?
  • These issues caused my fiancee to upgrade to an iPhone 4 so I guess it's working for them. I sold my 3G the day before iOS 4 was pushed out to everybody in preparation for the launch of the 4 a couple of days after that so I never had to experience these issues. From the limited time I've spend with the 3G under iOS 4 it was a pretty horrific experience.
  • Thank you Steve, I thought they were ignoring 3G because of the newer model iPhones
  • Silly question, but what is the proximity sensor issue with 3G?
  • does this mean that when the new software kicks in will it help and fix some issues the 3gs is having aswell? and to leeann its not a silly question because i dont know what it is... lol...
  • I want to try this turning spotlight off for my phone I have yet to find the thread in the forums
    Please advise,
    Long time tipb reader
  • I got backgrounder , went in and override the safari, mail and phone controls to close when minimized. I have to say it's running way better, even with wallpapers and multitasking enabled it's running pretty good
  • apple are meant to be so good with this kinda stuff shouldnt they see that its doggy before the release it ??
    anyway its good to see that apple are finally going to do something about this with iOS 4.0.3 fixing all the performance issues on the iPhone 3G.
  • When I upgraded my 3GS to iOS 4.0.2, I thought no problem if it doesn't work out I'll simply restore it back to the previous OS. Big surprise on me when I found out that this was no longer possible. This is just so typical of Apple, and something that I also saw in their MAC OS revisions, when you would be forced to purchase new apps when the old ones failed under a newer rev of OSX. People love to put down Microsoft, but at least they make a good attempt at backwards compatibility (not always perfect, but at least they try). Heck a lot of applications written to work under Win95, will still work in Win7. Maybe its time that Apple starts taking note of this, and stops forcing people to but new hardware by giving them a choice. And what could possibly be the reason to justify preventing people from downgrading their iPhones to earlier OS's that worked better for them? How does this impact on Apple's bottom line? I know it makes me think twice about buying any more iPhones (there are now some very good alternatives).
  • Isn't it against an FCC regulation for a manufacturer to disable one of their products for the purpose of selling a new one. Sounds like a racket to me. Or perhaps I am just holding this one the wrong way, too.