Did iOS4 brick your iPhone 3G? Apple's 4.0.1 update might fix it

I'm an Apple fan - I like their products, I understand that Apple are consumer-led and are shooting for the mainstream, and their UX work leaves other companies standing. I'm not a fanboi, however - I don't queue for three days for product launches, I don't like their restriction of feature sets to encourage upgrades and I don't own an iPhone 4.

In fact I have an iPhone 3G, which I bought about 15 months ago, a couple of months before the iPhone 3GS became available. And I've found it to be an outstanding device; for web, for social media, for mail, for apps, for filing the occasional story for Bitterwallet - my 3G has done everything I've expected of it, and plenty more.

Then the new operating system was released last month - iOS4 - and it effectively bricked my 3G. While Steve Jobs stood on stage and told the world the two were compatible, they just weren't. Suddenly the handset would crash once a day. The interface was sticky, slow or non-responsive. You couldn't swipe to unlock the handset or take a call without waiting several seconds. Most apps crashed, including Apple's own mail app, and every app that required a data connection returned an error message when first opened. Every single time.

Bitterwallet - iOS4 4.0.1 update for iPhone 3G and iPhone 4

In short, my 3G had become a Nokia smartphone circa 2006. And it wasn't just me - plenty of 3G owners had the same issues. That was until Apple pushed an update to iOS4 this morning.

The chief reason for Apple to push 4.0.1 so soon is an attempt to fix the well-publicised reception issues faced by iPhone 4 owners, but the upside is that it's restored my 3G to its former operating speed and reliability. The iOS4 features available to the 3G handset are still intact, but after an hour of attempting to break it - which didn't take longer than a few seconds before the update - the 3G is as quick and sturdy as it was before. In fact, I dare say the UI is a little slicker for the update.

There's a caveat to this - I didn't attempt to reinstall iOS4 after the first time; it's possible that might have helped matters, but having read through the feedback of other users, it doesn't seem likely. It's very possible Apple have silently tweaked the update to help 3G owners out too - if you've updated your iPhone 3G to 4.0.1 today, let us know the outcome.


  • Tim
    Nokia smartphone circa 2010 I say also. Nothing's changed since 2006.
  • PaulH
    I also own the 3G and I see no point in updating to the new iOS4...hardly any of the 'good' features are available (unless you jailbreak and unlock the multitasking)...I'm quite happy sticking with my Jailbroken 3.1.2 until I sell it and get the iPhone 4 muhwahahaha...
  • Paul S.
    Folders are good, map renderings are faster and slicker (if you use them a lot), but you're right to stick with what you've got and not risk it :)
  • Joff
    I don't own an iPhone either, but the wife does. Imagine how popular I was when I finished "upgrading" her 3G phone to iOS4.
  • Matt
    So despite many people showing a drop in data rates etc when holding the iPhone 4, it wasn't a real problem with the phone after all, just the software showing the wrong number of bars.... Oh really Mr jobs? Or have you just decided that a recall is too expensive and handing your fanboi's a new update that just fakes the phones signal instead of showing the reality is better? What happens when people complain about a huge drop in data rate when holding it.... blame the network of course! Smart guys those people in Apple :-p
  • The B.
    I ditched my 3G after the 3rd time an iOS update bricked it, the software was way too restrictive and flakey for my liking anyway, I now have a Desire and despite the odd foible here and there I love it.
  • MrRobin
    Odd. I updated my 3G to iOS4 a couple of weeks ago and have had none of the problems you have experienced. A couple of the apps didn't work but they released updates almost straight away to fix them.
  • John
    If the phone had reverted to a Nokia smartphone of 2006 vintage you should have seen substantial improvements such as proper multitasking, full bluetooth support, no reliance on Itunes etc.
  • MrRobin
    The iPhone4 debacle is piss poor though. I am waiting for the conference later with quite some anticipation. I do like the iPhone but I'm not a fan boy who preaches to everyone that they should convert to everying Apple. I actually hope this takes Apple and Jobs down a peg or two.
  • Simon B.
    I have updated my 3G after finding my Jailbroken IOS4 with multitasking far too slow. Has sped it up a bit, but still slower than 3.1.3 on my Ipod Touch 2G. Also they have solved the phone taking too long to respond to a swipe when receiving a call by replacing the swipe with a green on screen button, smells like another Apple flavored cop out to me.
  • Graald
    My iPhone 3G is a little faster & happier with 4.0.1. Good job... I was about to resurrect my previous Sony Ericsson... and that's saying something... And, Jobs - 'Pain is just weakness leaving the body...'
  • Stewie G.
    I've got the iphone 6.0 on pre-order :)
  • PokeHerPete
    I upgraded and I am now 10% more cunt.
  • Amanda H.
    Dear BitterWallet I am sending you an invoice for 1 broken keyboard, 1 optical mouse, 1 lcd monitor and a new pair of boxer shorts. I was minding my own business just reading your blog, then all of a sudden without warning, I broke out into some sort of fit and my lunch departed from my mouth in a projectile manner and I henceforth found myself sitting in a puddle of piss. I sprayed my deli of the day all over my lovely new computer + I think last nights McFlurry might have been included also. The sentence that caused this violet attack was "I’m not a fanboi". Please retract this hideous untrue statement, and pay me lots of money. You have 7 days to reply. A.H
  • dunfyboy
    Apple's OS is very slick, probably the best out there, but I don't think their phones have quite reached 2006 standards yet.
  • Lee F.
    Hi there, i had all the problems you stated on the upgrade t o 4.0 i consantly tried to downgrade through various you tube step by step procedures but to no avail, then the new software upgrade was released and i thought 4.0.1 would make everything ok but its just the same if not worse than before, still slow non responsive etc etc. im seriously thinking about smashing it up and taking the hit on the insurance to get a phone that actually works.
  • Vodafone B.
    [...] of the world in the age of smartphones. We recently covered Apple’s successful attempts at bricking the iPhone 3G with their new iOS 4 operating system, and today it’s the turn of Android. Sort of. It seems [...]
  • Georgette K.
    The other day my friend was telling me that her couldn't unlock her cell phone. I couldn't understand why not because it's actually really easy to do!
  • Lawsuit B.
    [...] while ago, we noted that Apple’s iOS4 was turning 3G iPhone’s into bricks. People’s phones were [...]
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