iPhone iOS 4.1 Update: 3G Users – Faster Performance or not?

By Alan Ng - Sep 9, 2010

We have some good news for iPhone 3G owners who are yet to update to iPhone iOS 4.1, as it looks as if Apple’s new update sorts out a few performance issues that a lot of you have been complaining about recently.

CNET has posted a collection of user reviews, all from iPhone 3G owners who have already updated. Most of them are extremely satisfied with the update, with the general consensus being that iPhone iOS 4.1 is a lot faster than 4.0.2.

Furthermore, happy consumers have also stated that apps on the iPhone 3G are now loading faster than before with iOS 4.1, naming Safari and Google Maps as a few examples.

For all 3G owners that are reading this, let us know how your iPhone 3G is handling iOS 4.1 at the moment. Have you noticed faster performance or not?

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Also See: Android 2.3 Gingerbread: iPhone 3G Port – Download Now

  • Wan

    As an organised & loyal customer to Apple, I updated my 3G to 4.1 when asked by iTunes, only to get disappointments. It hangs most times, wifi has poor reception, calls disappear when answered, typing nos/alphabets are slow in staccato rhythm, music sound is softer, can't get the full loudness as before & opening Safari takes 15+ secs. It is sooo frustrating! My question is.. Can anybody tell me if it's better to upgrade to 4.2/ 4.2.1 or to downgrade to 3.1.3? For the price we paid, I expect Apple to give us excellent service & give us a phone that functions! Till date, there is no news fr. Apple if 3G users should upgrade or downgrade. If Apple wants to leave 3G users out, (since 4G is up-to-date). Why doesn't Apple announce "a repair" on 3G for all us 3G users to get back for what we've paid for.

    • Simon

      Good point, I agree. I don't actually have an iPhone 3G, but an iTouch 2G like mine gets the same miserable update. I wish I could go back to 3.1.3, but unfrotunately it looks like it's too late now. My only hope is if I pay some expert to work nights on downgrading it, but there aren't many of those guys.

  • I just updated 3G to 4.1 seems faster bug my service bars seem to drop drastically more frequent and I cant use the screen saver feature at all think I’m going to restore the other software after work. I don’t like the trade off lol.

  • Chrystal

    I have an iphone 3G purchased in March 2010 with the 3.1.3 software and thanks to these reviews I will not be upgrading software at all. Thanks for all of your helpful reviews, you guys made my decision very easy!

  • sxfv

    Im just stickin with my 3.1.3 which is way much better than ios4…

  • gilbert

    i upgrade my 3g from 3.1.2 to 4.1but too bad i lost my signal!is there anyway i can fix this problem?tnx

  • loling

    4.1 better than 4.0,
    3.x MUCH BETTER than 4.1
    in terms of speed and memory

  • danny

    update 4.1 is better than 4.0.2…
    still… the old software was much faster than 4.1

    if you guys are going to update your software…make sure it doesn't interfere with the cell phone signal next time..

    thats just ridiculous.

  • DSach

    If your using a 3g please quit complaining about slow performance, of course its slow, the iphone is a minicomputer with ram and a cpu, with its first ios it ran a small amout of ram, now everytime they update some new feature is added, multitasking being a huge one, multitouch support, file folders, etc, etc. the iPhone 3g has been overextended, just like trying to download Windows7 on a 1994 model IBM, out of 128mb of ram on a 3g. you are lucky if you have 30 mb free. My sugestion, jailbreak, run sbsettings so you can kill background programs and free ram, and there are these little things called launch daemons, responsible for launching about 30 background programs when you boot your phone, with a jailbreak you can dig into the iPhone(SSH) and delete quite a few of the useless launch daemons, which provides a considerable increase in 3g performance.

  • Nikki

    Apparently the 4.1 update also updated my modem firmware to 05.14.02 which caused my phone to stop connecting to any wifi networks. When I try to manually connect by entering network information it says that it could not scan for wireless networks. Tried everything from restarting router, updating router firmware, renaming network, changing router channel, to restoring iphone to previous os firmware and nothing has worked. I found out the hard way that once you update your os, you can't reverse the process. Apple has broke my iphone! This all started happening immediately after the update. Coincidence, I think not…

  • Debbie Hankinson

    I updated today to 4.1. Now, half my photos are blacked out on the camera roll. All the pictures are still there but I can't see a preview. The first 39 show on the roll but then the rest are nothing but a black box covering them. Any new pics show up after the black box with a preview. IS this a problem with 4.1 or something else????

  • N R

    Works slightly better than 4.0.2 but as mentioned above, not as fast as 3.1.3.

  • Neil

    I think my Iphone 3Gs is worse…. I have found Safari to be very slow…. Tethering also seems much slower now and the update has still not fixed my bluetooth problems with my 2009 BMW 320D. I wish I could roll back to the original software…. How could Apple get it so wrong?

    • choddo

      You can

  • John of Huntington Beach

    4.1 has sped up the phone a bit with certain apps; however, it’s still considerably slower the the original OS. I have done all of the updates. This is a joke. What the hell was Apple thinking. Nobody can convince me that Apple did not know this was going to happen to the 3G. They knew and are using this as an opportunity to drive up sales on the iOS4.

    Today I will be consulting with a Consumer Protection Attorney here in California to bring a class action lawsuit against Apple for damaging my phone.

    • Matt from Ventura

      LOL. What next? Sue McDonalds because you didn't know the coffee was hot?

      You need to go buy an Android phone, because you sound like the type that would own one of them – whiny and entitled. Yep, Android would be perfect for you.

      • ade2bee

        that's not the point, it isn't whining! … if you took anything else for a modification from the supplier/manufacturer and didn't work as well in such an obvious way, then anyone would complain. why are electronics different?

        The simple fact is that Apple makes you aware the 1stiPhone wouldn't work, butthere are hardly any of those around, you're not telling me that all Apples phones worked perfectly?

    • Robert

      John I would be understanding of your impending action if I believed there was no opportunity to return the old operating system or if there was malice on apples part. I presently do not believe either is the case. This kind of action drives up prices and lessons incentives to give good will value to existing clients. Why don't you just contact Apple and explain clearly what has happened to you and ask if they could give you some assistance??

  • chris

    I updated my iphone 3gs to 4.1 but when I go to http://www.m.facebook.com it asks me to sign in I do that but it keeps coming up to sign in is there a fix for that why does it keep asking me to sign in before I updated my Iphone and went to http://www.m.facebook.com it could get on facebook no prob if someone can help me out send me an email to this email address


  • Stephen

    If you are unhappy just roll back to OS 3 like I have done. I don’t get why so many people complain when a simple google tells you how to get back to OS 3.

  • Ivor Biggen

    on upgrade , no service on I Phone . lost the 2 barr staus , tried my old phone 4 bars
    sent unit back to Apple , new board fitted . after 3 weeks return , still poor reception .
    if it does not work as a phone little use to me . been in communications Industry for 30 years selling my first brick phones for £1500 but they worked. come on Apple stop treated the Public as Idiots.

  • According to recent estimates, the iTunes App Store has had a successful IOS 250,000 applications, the Android Market were sitting comfortably in the middle, with 80,000 titles, and the BlackBerry App World recently broke 10,000. Obviously, if the user activity is high, developers are more interested in entering the App Store

  • pegelston

    For me, 4.1 works much better than 4.0. I feel like I've gotten my old phone back. Strangely, my girlfriend's 3G phone never had the same performance problems as mine did, even though we upgraded to 4.0 at the same time. She uses fewer apps than I do, and I always suspected that this was the problem. After my miserable 4.0 experience, I'm relatively happy with my 3G again. Not ready to upgrade my phone yet. (Still at the want-but not-need stage)

  • RadioDR

    Either there is variability between 3G phones, or there's wishful thinking going on here. I have experienced perhaps a 1% improvement since updating to 4.1. It's still completely and totally unacceptable. I'm so done with Apple.

  • DJB

    I have yet to upgrade to 4.0 or 4.1 on my 3G, can I just keep it at the version previous to both of these?

    • Neil

      yeh – just click NO when you plug it in to iTunes. Don't update. The 3G was (is) still good enough for most without updating to 4. If you are happy with it why change?

  • guest

    The apps seem to start faster, but still take a very long time to load the data. It takes at least 5-6 seconds to open a text message. I bought my wife and iPhone 4 and the performance comparison is unbelievable. I'm very disappointed in how the performance of the 3G has degraded. Prior to this, I was extremely satisfied with my 3G.

  • Guest

    3G updated to 4.1 – noticing only slightly faster app loading. My map program is still not working. Seems Apple is forcing 3G owners to buy a 3GS or a 4G.

  • iphone3gusr

    4.1 definitely works better than 4.0. But 3.1.3 was by far the best firmware

  • Rohini

    Wow… This is the fastest I have seen my 3G perform ater IOS4.1 update…

  • Guest

    Upgraded to 4.1 from 3.1.3 (having downgraded back following 4.0 effectively bricking my phone). So far, so good. This update also seems to have sorted the issue with my Parrot Car kit (mki9100). There was a well know issue that 4.0 caused a number of issues with Connected Accessories. This updates has fixed it as my iPhone now recognises the Car Kit when I plug it in. Battery life also seems to have improved…

  • Ray

    4.1 looks like a winner to me for my 3G. I had gone back to 3.x after 4.0 performed to awful. After upgrading to 4.1 it feels about the same as 3.x performance-wise, which is good. No waiting 15+ seconds for keyboard input to actually 'take'.

  • Timmy

    ios 4.1 is great. I never updated to ios 4.0.2 because of the bad reviews and complaints i read. The only problem i have is the battery percentage that isn't on the phone and i can't seem to find a setting to turn it on. Also it took a long time for the phone to back up and update on itunes. (approx 3-4 hours) I find my phone to feel moving alot smoother than 3.1.3 and the cool features that it had including folders and camera zoom with picture locations. my apps feel faster. so far i've only had it for a few hours so, we'll see…

  • Anonymous

    Overall, I am happy with the update; it's actually improved my battery life and made my apps and such faster. However, I have one complaint: last night while I was talking to a friend, the phone just froze. I did not do anything to it — it just froze. It stayed frozen for a few minutes and then re-started itself. A few minutes later, it froze again. I am not sure why it kept freezing, but it probably had to do with the iOS 4.1 update. That's my only complaint. Other than that, the update works just fine.

    • Kumi

      I am having the same experience too. It's quite frustrating!!

  • guest

    Great performance improvement in all apps (even apps like IKEA catalogue) work faster. Significant improvement in Maps. I am really happy with this update!

  • evan of tokyo

    my 3g still painfully slow opening apps. 4.1 it seems only cater to the problems of 3gs and 4, but not 3g. we are again left out after all the anticipation with 4.1

  • Kelpie

    I upgraded directly from 3.1.3 and if anything 4.1 seems faster on my 3G once I did a full reboot.

    • bob

      So far, I agree with Kelpie. I upgraded from 3.1.3 and my 4.1 seems at least as fast, and perhaps faster. Apps open quickly and smoothly, and no problems with phone calls, email, or SMS.

      • captain Jordan

        Thank you guys .. this what I was looking for, 3.1.3 compared to 4.1 . cause personally I think 3.1.3 was the best for 3G, I even thought its the END of IOS made for the 3G. Steve is not yet dumping the 3G users 🙂

  • Norrie

    Seems way better than 4.0.2 so far.

  • Eyephn

    Give us the original OS back! So dissatisfied with the 3g!!

  • RXL

    So far so good. Not sure if its as good as when I first got the 3G phone but better than 4.0.2 for sure!

  • Glen

    Not seeing much improvement at all – just trying a full reset to see if that helps. As far as I can see IPOD still loads really slowly and the SAFARI seems to take ages before you can enter an address when it first loads! Think I'll move over to Android now! Apple have had their chance!

    • thinknaut

      hmm.. you sound like a troll!

      • chris

        no, he sounds like another dissatisfied customer. I know what those sound like because I am one as well. I'm definitely not getting another iphone, apple wants me to get an iphone 4 and that's why they don't care that my 3g sucks with the new software, what a joke. they're so arrogant they didn't realize some people may get different phones

  • Puas

    Just updated…maps in particular, shows a significant improvement.

    Doing map search on 4.0.2 was getting very frustrating…the keyboard

    Would consistently lock up and sometimes would take up to 15 secs to respond to keystrokes!

  • DJC

    4.1 only appears to provide slightly better performance on my 3G – IOS 3.x was still MUCH faster and smoother. This is still a "let-down."