iOS 5 and iPhone 3GS update ultimatum

By Chris Cook - Oct 18, 2011

Yesterday we discovered that Apple had managed to sell over 4 million iPhone 4S handsets in its first three days of being available. It was also revealed that existing iPhone owners were upgrading to the new operating system iOS 5, but we’re wondering whether it is such a good idea for owners of the iPhone 3GS, being left with an ultimatum, to do the same.

Software updates are of course beneficial in nearly all cases, bringing new features, but for some hardware owners it becomes ‘a scary proposition’ as the upgrade may be mean the death of a device as we know it. Any bug or glitch could damage a handset permanently or force an owner to live with the kind of problems that are irreversible.

Upgrades are also extremely useful for those that can’t afford to get the latest version of their devices, for example for those that own an iPhone 3GS but can’t afford the iPhone 4S. For these people an upgrade to iOS 5 makes sense, especially considering it’s free. The question is whether or not a two-and-a-half year old device can handle the latest software?

According to Cnet there have been some complaints from owners of the iPhone 3GS upgrading to the latest iOS in the past, with issues concerning the battery life being drained and a slower interface. These issues normally get corrected with bug fixes from Apple, but come a while later. The biggest issues with iOS 5 on these older iPhones is again the battery life, some complaining it has been reduced to 6 hours without use and just 4 hours with occasional use. There have also been complaints that the devices become sluggish, problems like these can be helped by changing certain settings such as the brightness and turning Wi-Fi off when not in use.

At the end of the day, iPhone 3GS owners can be happy that their old devices can actually support the latest software and still work. iOS 5 has over 200 updates so in my opinion is well worth the sacrifices. Do you own an iPhone 3GS? Have you had any problems with the iOS 5 update?

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  • Born2teachuga

    My phone’s battery life has been fine but I’m having problems with my phone taking forever to close programs. It’s like I have to press the home button a thousand times to get it to close a program and to wake it up.

  • Liam McFarlane

    I have had an issue with the picture button not functioning during text messaging (MMS) SO now I can only send pictures during Email and no other way

  • bob

    auto-brightness cranks down to a dimness that is unusable. the screen is pretty much black.  when i place  the phone in brighter light, the phone does brighten a smidgen.  not nearly enough, however.  had about 2 hours of ios 5 love post update….then the brightness issue struck.

    • bob

      iphone 3gs

  • I updated my iPhone 3GS and the WiFi on my phone no longer works unless my phone is right next to the wireless router. I’ve tried all the basic stuff you try when you can’t get your device on wireless, like restarting the router, restarting the phone, etc. It worked just fine before the update. I checked the Apple support discussions and there a lot of people who are having the same problem and there are no answers forthcoming from Apple. I would like to revert back to IOS 4. Perhaps I’ll just get an Android phone when my upgrade comes due in a month.

  • Chu in AR

    unfortunately, we’ve had our network set back to Edge since 3G service is poor in our area. battery life was much longer on Edge while on ios 4.2.1, and still seems to be doing OK with the new OS. the interface is definitely Slower with ios5.

  • Afb

    I had a problem with battery life on my 3GS. IOS5 was sucking it dry with no use. Turned off as many things as I could and still no joy. Until I turned off WI-Fi sync with iTunes. Now I have my battery life back where it was before the update.

    But now I have to plug into the Mac to sync, which was the primary reason I upgraded.

    • Charles

      Me too!!! After 2 hours my battery showed 20% charge after having 100% charge and I did not use my 3GS. My battery still not holding a charge long, like it used to before the upgrade.