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iPhone 3GS
IPhone PSD White 3G.png

16 GB: $199
32 GB: $299


June 19, 2009


June 24, 2010 (16 GB & 32 GB)
September 12, 2012 (8 GB)

Operating System:

Original: iPhone OS 3
Last: iOS 6.1.6 (released February 21, 2014)

Screen Resolution:

320x480 pixels
163 ppi
2:3 aspect ratio


Black, white(16 GB & 32 GB only)


Height: 4.5 inches (115.5 mm)
Width: 2.4 inches (62.1 mm)
Depth: 0.48 inch (12.3mm)


4.8oz (137 grams)

The iPhone 3GS (stylized iPhone 3G[S] by many blogs) is the third generation of iPhone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It was introduced on June 8, 2009 at the WWDC 2009 which took place at the Moscone Center, San Francisco.

Its features primarily consist of faster performance, a camera with higher resolution and video capability, voice control, and support for 7.2 Mbit/s HSDPA downloading (but remains limited to 384 kbps uploading as Apple had not implemented the HSUPA protocol). It was released in the U.S., Canada and six European countries on June 19, 2009, in Australia and Japan on June 26, and internationally in July and August 2009.

The iPhone 3GS runs Apple's iOS operating system, as is used on the iPad and the iPod touch. It is primarily controlled by a user's fingertips on a multi-touch display. The iPhone 3GS is preceded by the iPhone 3G and succeeded by the iPhone 4. The iPhone 3GS was officially discontinued on September 12, 2012.


The iPhone 3GS was made available for pre-order on June 8, 2009 and released on June 19 in Canada, the United States, and 7 European countries, and on June 26 in Australia and the United Kingdom. Within the first weekend of its release, over one million iPhone 3GSs were sold. July and August 2009 saw the release of the iPhone 3GS internationally.


IPhone 3GS Postcard.jpg

The iPhone was introduced in June 2009 with the slogan "the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet". It is twice as fast as the iPhone 3G. It brought 480p video recording and improved the 3 megapixel camera.

LCD display

The iPhone 3GS contained 163 pixels per inch (ppi) on a 3.5 in (8.9 cm) 480-by-320 display for its touch screen display. It's predecessor's screen includes 24-bit color emulation (18-bit color display plus dithering), which makes rich color on the display and a coating to help get rid of fingerprints. This LCD Display was designed by Apple and created by LG.


The iPhone 3GS contains an improved 3 megapixel camera made by OmniVision. The Camera also contains auto-focus, auto white balance, and auto macro. This camera is also capable for capturing VGA video.

Processor and memory

The iPhone 3GS is made with a Samsung APL0298C05 chip, which was created by Samsung. The iPhone 3GS also has 256 MB of eDRAM, which was twice the amount of the previous iPhone, the iPhone 3G.

Apple also claims that it is 2X faster than the iPhone 3G, which is true, and the 3GS only takes about half the time to open an application on the iPhone 3G.


The iPhone 3GS was at first only sold in 16 GB and 32 GB models. But then Apple created the 8 GB model, with Apple also discontinuing the 16 and 32 GB models.


Below are the battery number of hours the 3GS can do: Talk time: Up to 5 hours on 3G, up to 12 hours on 2G Standby time: Up to 300 hours Internet use: Up to 5 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi Video playback: Up to 10 hours Audio playback: Up to 30 hours.

Continued support

New Bootrom and 2011 Baseband Update

On September 9, 2009, Apple launched an updated model of the iPhone 3GS that patched a segment overflow in the SecureROM of the Device that had allowed loading an unsigned


The iPhone 3GS has become the one of the few iPhones to support 4 generations of the iOS software. People were unsure as to why Apple made the decision to support the 3GS, but not the first generation iPad and earlier models of the iPod touch which share the same specifications. Although the 3GS is still supported, some major features of iOS 6 aren't supported. This however holds true for the iPhone 4 as well. Features such as Flyover and 3D Maps aren't featured on either phone. The 3GS seems to be well supported by Apple in regard to the iPhone 4. Whereas the 3GS got nearly all the features from 3 major iOS releases (3, 4, 5), the iPhone 4 only got full features from 2 major iOS releases (4, 5), and got only partial support on iOS 6. This can be attributed to the relatively larger performance improvement of the 3GS in relation to other iPhone generations. After the release of the iPhone 4S, the 3GS was still offered for free until September 12,2012, When Apple announced that they will no longer selling or supporting the iPhone 3GS, therefore meaning iOS 6 will be the final iOS to support the 3GS.


Reviews of the iPhone 3GS have been generally mixed to favorable. Walter Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal described the device packed with "new features that makes a great product even better, but for many users, the software may be enough of a boost to keep them from buying the new model."Engadget also criticized that "the additions of video recording, a compass, and a speed bump just don't seem that compelling to us". Still the device managed to receive numerous favorable reviews, CNET gave the iPhone 3GS a 4/5 stars citing the battery life improvements and speed bump alone are good enough although it might leave you wanting more, Engadget praised the performance improvements describing it "a bigger speed bump than you'll come to expect". TechRadar gave the device a 4.5/5 stars describing the device "feature filled but certainly not worth upgrading for" However the 8 GB version of the device has received more favorable reviews mainly because it comes pre-installed with iOS 4. Jason Snell of Macworld praised the iPhone 3GS citing that "The device's internal changes shines in the iOS 4 update, making the iPhone 3GS a worthwhile upgrade compared to its predecessor although a little too late compared to the iPhone 4". TIPB cited that "aside from hardware specific features like FaceTime, Retina Display, and gyroscope support, the bottom line is iPhone 3GS users are getting the same software that makes the iPhone 4 great"



Shortly after the release of the iPhone 3GS, some users reported overheating of the device while in heavy use, and others reported discoloration of the device due to heat (particularly on the white models). The discoloration issues were largely discounted as being as a result of iPhone covers rubbing against the back of the iPhone. Apple responded to the heat issue reports by warning users against leaving their iPhones in a car on a hot day, leaving it in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, and refraining from heavy usage while in a hot/sunny environment. It is also worth pointing out the temperature specifications in which the iPhone should be operated, which follows safety standards in the countries the 3GS was released


  • Samsung S5L8900 Application Processor → Samsung S5L8920 Application Processor[1]
    • ARM 1176 32-Bit Core ProcessorARM Cortex-A8 32-Bit Core Processor[2]
      • ARMv6 Instruction Set → ARMv7 and THUMB-2 Instruction Set
      • 667Mhz (underclocked to 412Mhz to prevent overheating) → 1Ghz (underclocked to 600Mhz to prevent overheating)
    • 128MB SDRAM → 256MB SDRAM
    • Integrated PowerVR MBX Lite Graphics Card → Integrated PowerVR SGX535 Graphics Card
  • Toshiba TH58G6D1DT (NOR/NAND Flash Storage)
  • Marvell 88W8686 (Wi-Fi)
  • CSR BlueCore6 → Broadcom BCM4325 (Bluetooth)
  • Infineon X-Gold-608 (Phone, Messages, and Cellular Data)
  • Infineon Hammmerhead II PMB2525 (GPS)



External links


iPhone 1 | 3G | 3GS | 4 | 4S | 5 | 5C · 5S | 6 · 6 Plus | 6S · 6S Plus | SE (1g) | 7 · 7 Plus | 8 · 8 Plus
X | XR · XS · XS Max | 11 · 11 Pro · 11 Pro Max | SE (2g) | 12 · 12 mini · 12 Pro · 12 Pro Max

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