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Why No iPhone 3GS iOS 7 Update Isn’t a Bad Thing



Earlier in the week, Apple unveiled its brand new operating system in iOS 7, a revamped version of its mobile operating system that is scheduled to land for iOS devices sometime this fall. It won’t be coming to every iPhone and iPad though and one of the biggest devices that’s missing out is the iPhone 3GS, Apple’s aging former flagship model. And while that might sound terrible to iPhone 3GS owners now, no iPhone 3GS iOS 7 update isn’t as bad as it seems.

Apple as expected debuted the iOS 7 update at WWDC 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. And while there was talk of a new design for Apple’s software, Apple wowed the world with a complete overhaul of the software that consumers have grown to know over the better part of six or so years.


The iPhone 3GS won’t get iOS 7. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

iOS 7 is a piece of software that Apple is calling the biggest change to iOS since the arrival of the original iPhone back in 2007. And as we’ve pointed out, on paper, this appears to be the case. From a whole new look to the user interface, to new icons, to updates to the operating system’s core applications like Weather and Calendar, iOS 7 is a departure from iOS 6.

The software that was shown off at WWDC isn’t final but iPhone and iPad owners can bet on a hefty dose of new when iOS 7 arrives to replace iOS 6 later on this year.

There will, however, be some iDevice owners that are missing out on the full extent of iOS 7. As we’ve pointed out, devices like the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 won’t be getting every iOS 7 feature. At the far end of the spectrum are devices like the first iPad and the iPhone 3GS, the latter of which will be missing out on a major iOS update for the first time since it arrived back in 2009.

OS 7 isn’t coming to the iPhone 3GS and while on the surface that may sound like a bad thing to iPhone 3GS owners, it’s actually not, and despite what they may think, it doesn’t spell the end for this aging wonder.

Why No iPhone 3GS iOS 7 Update Isn’t a Bad Thing

iOS7 Isn’t the End for the iPhone 3GS

The fact that the iPhone 3GS isn’t getting iOS 7 isn’t the end of the road for the iPhone 3GS for one simple fact: Owners of the iPhone 3GS can simply remain on iOS 6.1.2 for the rest of time, something that enables the use of the Evasi0n iOS 6 jailbreak, a jailbreak that was blocked with the emergence of iOS 6.1.3.

Owners that didn’t make the jump to iOS 6.1.3 are set as through a jailbreak, iPhone 3GS owners can download a number of applications and themes that can mimic the experience of iOS 7.

For instance, those iPhone 3GS owners who want the look and feel that iOS 7 delivers can simply download a theme via Winterboard that gives the iPhone 3GS an iOS 7 type user interface. As time goes on, we expect more themes and the developers of those themes to refine them. And while it won’t be iOS 7 exactly, it’s going to offer those who want the look the opportunity to get it.

As for features, iPhone 3GS owners who jailbreak will be able to access applications like Auxo which is arguably a better Control Center solution than the one that Apple is introducing in iOS 7.

Those iPhone 3GS owners that moved to iOS 6.1.3 can’t be helped, at least not at the moment, but those that intelligently stayed on iOS 6.1.2 still have a wealth of new looks and features available to them, even if iOS 7 isn’t on the way.

Likely Better Off Without iOS 7

iOS 7 may have caused more problems than it was worth.

iOS 7 may have caused more problems than it was worth.

It was a bit of a surprise when Apple rolled out iOS 6 to the iPhone 3GS. Even back in September, the iPhone 3GS was considered ancient for a smartphone. But Apple is Apple and it decided to give owners a slimmed down version of the update.

New software doesn’t always mean a fantastic experience though and for iPhone 3GS owners, iOS 6 has been a bit of a mixed bag. While some owners have spoken favorably of iOS 6, others have been dealing with a myriad of issues including sluggishness, crashes, and just all around bad performance.

Given those issues, it’s not surprising to see iOS 7 missing iPhone 3GS owners. And quite frankly, they are probably better off. While it’s impossible to say, iOS 7 would have likely delivered just as issues as it did new features.

There is no denying that the hardware inside the iPhone 3GS is aging and thanks to the massive changes we’ve seen with iOS 7, it’s easy to think that it probably would have caused as many, if not more problems than iOS 6 did.

Something for iPhone 3GS owners to keep in mind in the buildup to the iOS 7 release later on this year.



  1. Dang

    06/13/2013 at 7:50 pm

    That’s too bad if you have a 3GS. Just get a new phone. Simple as that.

    • J

      06/15/2013 at 10:28 am

      Not everybody can afford to buy a brand new smartphone, buddy.

    • Scblair

      07/03/2013 at 8:50 am

      Simple as scraping up $500 to buy a phone to replace one that still technically works fine for the most part. No prob

    • J

      08/06/2013 at 6:02 am

      Rich assholes. Why dont you get one for me?

      • Billy G'Ates

        09/23/2013 at 11:12 pm

        A few rim jobs should pay for a new phone!

  2. JonW

    06/14/2013 at 12:29 am

    “Apple wowed the world”.. really???

    I used to enjoy coming to GottaBeMobile for factual, informative articles but lately some of the posts have been so blinkered and biased I think I will have to start looking elsewhere for my tech news.

  3. Nicholas Khan

    06/14/2013 at 11:28 am

    3GS was the only smartphone to last with iOS 3,4,5,6

  4. Daniel Haas

    06/28/2013 at 3:41 pm

    I still own an iPhone 3GS, simply because none of the newer models (4, 4S, 5) has anything to offer that gave me a reason to change. iOS7 seems a major improvement, and blocking this from the 3GS seems more of a commercial move than anything else.

    Come on guys, the 3GS is not _that_ old, and the processing power could for sure run iOS7 without too many issues.

    Jailbreaking is not an option for me, that is just not in the ‘Apple experience’. Then I better switch to Android. iOS7 is nice, but won’t me make buy a new iPhone.

    • Tony

      07/01/2013 at 8:08 pm

      your better off switching to android anyway i switched less than a month ago and it is so much better than ios you can even make it look like ios by installing apps like espier launcher, iPhone keyboard,hi pictures and hi videos and hi sms but the best things are it costs less for the phone and you will get almost unlimmited firmware updsates and even if you chose not too 90% of the apps are still avalable for 2.3 so your device breaks not get outdated when you replace it

    • Tairone

      07/10/2013 at 3:59 am

      I totally agree with you, dude. Apple wants to force us to purchase newer versions of their products. They did the same to the macbooks. I have an old macbook white, and it’s hardware is definitely good enough to run the newer versions of Mac OS. But Apple decided to discontinue their OS support for these older Macbooks to force me to purchase a new hardware. This is ridiculous. I used to be a fan of Apple – I still like their products – but their policies really frustrate me, and so I decided not to buy any of their products anymore.

      • Tony

        07/18/2013 at 11:57 pm

        Just remember with apple it’s not what the device can handle its when it wants you to upgrade and they are smart they make you upgrade just often enough to make you buy a new one but not often enough for you to get frustrated and switch to android
        Ios 7 is proof of this being true I mean look at it I like the new enterferance but it’s as flat as a sheet of paper it looks like it’s running on a mobile from 10 years ago that can’t do any better this phone should easly be able to run ios 7
        That said I still like apple I just won’t buy an iphone again I am viewing this on my iPad right now but I have family members who won’t go near apple and others that wouldn’t go away from it and are determind to have the latest model of iphone and new enough ipad

    • Luc

      07/14/2013 at 5:01 am

      The truth you have spoken,Sir!

    • j.s.

      05/12/2014 at 9:58 pm

      I totally agree and don’t forget the cpu was under clocked by 233 mhx and I would easily give up a half hour of battery life for better performance or iOS 7

  5. John

    07/08/2013 at 11:49 am

    I think 3gs is better then other models like 4 4s 5 only camera difference and its not big deal…

  6. Gazes

    07/19/2013 at 7:09 am

    Well if it comes to it my 3GS will sit in drawer or paper weight not buying another iPhone

  7. some1

    07/25/2013 at 10:21 pm


  8. some1

    07/25/2013 at 10:24 pm

    even if i have an iphone 4s i wont upgrade to this piece of trash… i still love the older look of ios…..

  9. rameez

    07/31/2013 at 10:44 pm

    ios 7 will support soon in 3gs

    • Jenn

      08/27/2014 at 11:36 am

      I’m still waiting….

  10. Jake Wuth

    08/03/2013 at 7:37 pm

    Hmph. I have a iPhone 3GS and as long as you dont download 64 gigs of stuff, the phone isnt slow. Im pretty sure that the 3GS can handle iOS7. Apple is just forcing us to buy a new phone, and I’m fine with that! I want a new smartphone so I’ll buy a 4! They are free! If you have a 3GS just buy a free 4 and boom! You have the new iOS and phone! Problem solved

    • Tyler Cameron

      04/18/2014 at 6:41 pm

      You cannot get a 4 for free. A 4 costs over $150 unlocked. A HORRIBLE price for such an old phone. Are you that much of a fanboy?

  11. Vineet

    08/17/2013 at 1:33 pm

    Ios 7 i need but this apple i hate u. I am switching to android 10* times better than apple

  12. Kota

    08/19/2013 at 10:03 am

    I bought my 3GS just to give apple a chance. It was my first apple device as i am an avid android finatic. In my opinion, android is a much better O.S. apple is a greedy company. You cant be greedy in an economy this messed up. It will be my last apple device.

  13. Raggedyman

    08/23/2013 at 12:50 am

    Yet again Apple users get what Apple says they can have. I have just upgraded to a 4S from a 3GS, and although I think it is a fantastic price of technology, I won’t be having Apple again. The very fact that apple won’t allow users to downgrade from an iOS stinks. Not everyone wants to jailbreak. Personally I think iOS 5 was the one for a 3GS. My wife’s iPhone 6 has more issues than enough. Not impressive.

    • Raggedyman

      08/23/2013 at 12:53 am

      Typo, my wife has an iPhone 5. Oops

  14. Nicole Alexandra

    09/19/2013 at 8:29 am

    I have iOS 6 on my 3GS and it runs just fine. I’m sure if it can handle that, it can surely hand 7. And like someone said the 3GS is not that old. Oh well let those Apple bastards keep 7 away but I’ll be getting an Android for Christmas anyway. Love Androids :)

  15. Dustin Brown

    09/23/2013 at 9:52 pm

    they have said also 4 and 4gs isnt going to get it either or it may be a year so till it does but just the 5 5s and 5c are the ones getting ios7 but the looks and display of ios7 can be done by jail breaking it but it still wont be ios7 just the looks of it i say screw them switch to android better any way i had no choice i had to get a iphone to keep my grandfather account that is set where for others are paying out the ass for data and other stuff i still have complely unlimited usages of data but if i swithed to the iphone 4 or 4gs i loose the grandfather unlimited and have to pay for data so i agree with the ones who cant go buy a new phone it took me 6 months of waiting to save money to get the iphone 3gs just too damn long to wait with out a phone when ur in the country aka boonies also aka middle of no where land and for the richie **riches out there be lucky u even have money walk a few months in our shoes see how u make it jake ur partly right and to all the lower clas like me who just cant shell out cash like running water im with yall and apple is loosing alot of business pulling the “”only our newest iphones will get ios7″” bye bye apple

  16. Dustin Brown

    09/23/2013 at 9:55 pm

    right j why dont they go buy us all one seeing they like to throw away money like running water

  17. Yash

    10/05/2014 at 9:14 am

    I request you to provide ios7 appicable to iphone 3gs as possible.
    Otherwise f o

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