iPhone 3G
Front view
DeveloperApple Inc.
Slogan"The iPhone you have been waiting for."
"The first phone to beat the iPhone."
"Twice as fast, for half the price."
"The most advanced mobile OS. Now even more advanced."
"New features, new price."
ModelA1324 (China)
First releasedJuly 11, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-07-11)[3]
DiscontinuedJune 7, 2010; 14 years ago (2010-06-07)
Units sold1 million over first weekend[4]
PredecessoriPhone (1st generation)
SuccessoriPhone 3GS
RelatediPod Touch (2nd generation)
Form factorSlate
Dimensions115.5 mm (4.55 in) H
62.1 mm (2.44 in) W
12.3 mm (0.48 in) D
Weight133 g (4.7 oz)
Operating systemOriginal: iPhone OS 2.0
Last: iOS 4.2.1, released November 22, 2010
CPUSamsung 32-bit RISC ARM 1176JZ(F)-S v1.0[5]
620 MHz
Underclocked to 412 MHz[6]
GPUPowerVR MBX Lite 3D GPU[7]
Memory128 MB DRAM[8]
Storage8 or 16 GB flash memory
Battery1150 mAh, 3.7 V Lithium-ion battery[9]
Display3.5-inch screen (diagonally)
480×320 pixel resolution at 163 ppi
3:2 aspect ratio
18-bit (262,144 colors) LCD
Sound3.5 mm TRRS
One speaker
20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response (internal, headset)
Rear camera2.0 MP with geotagging
ConnectivityQuad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
(850 900 1,800 1,900 MHz)
Tri-band UMTS/HSDPA 3.6
(850 1,900 2,100 MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
USB 2.0/Dock connector[10]
Data inputsMulti-touch touchscreen display
3-axis accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
Headset controls
WebsiteApple – iPhone at the Wayback Machine (archived July 23, 2008)

The iPhone 3G is a smartphone designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the second generation of iPhone, successor to the original iPhone, and was introduced on June 9, 2008, at the WWDC 2008 which took place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The iPhone 3G is internally similar to its predecessor, but included several new hardware features, such as GPS, 3G data and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA. The device was originally loaded with the concurrently launched iPhone OS 2. In addition to other features (including push email and turn-by-turn navigation), this new operating system introduced the App Store—Apple's new distribution platform for third-party applications.[11]


See also: History of the iPhone

On July 11, 2008, Apple released the iPhone 3G across twenty-two countries. It was released in two storage options: 8 GB and 16 GB.[12] The 16 GB model was produced in either black or white.[13][14] Within the United States, it was only available with a two-year AT&T cell phone plan, and required an up-front payment of $199 for the 8 GB model and $299 for the 16 GB model.[11]

Following the release of the successor iPhone 3GS model one year later, the iPhone 3G remained on sale but became Apple's budget phone offer, with its price reduced. This $99 iPhone 3G required a two-year contract and was available only in black and with 8 GB of storage, but came bundled with the then-new iPhone OS 3.0 firmware.[15] Without a contract, the iPhone 3G was available no-commitment from AT&T for $499 (8 GB) or $549 (16 GB) in 2009.[16] On June 7, 2010, the iPhone 3G was finally discontinued, and replaced as Apple's budget phone by an 8 GB iPhone 3GS selling for $99 with a 2-year contract.

In 2008, Import Genius, a provider of business intelligence for the import-export industry, used electronic customs clearance data, which is published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, to detect the arrival of the iPhone 3G prior to Apple's announcement.[17][18]


See also: iOS, iPhone OS 2, iPhone OS 3, and iOS 4

The iPhone 3G came preloaded with the latest version of iOS and continued to receive updates to its software for over two years, with major iterations released on an annual basis. However, the phone had access to a decreasing proportion of new features with each update as its hardware became superseded by later models.

When it was launched, the iPhone 3G came preloaded with iPhone OS 2. This introduced the App Store, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, Apple's MobileMe service, and push email support, along with other new features and bug fixes.

In June 2009, iPhone 3G users received the iPhone OS 3 software update, which introduced the long-awaited MMS feature, copy and paste, landscape support for more applications, Bluetooth stereo support, and other improvements.

In June 2010, Apple released the iOS 4.0 software update. Unlike its successor models, the iPhone 3G does not support prominent features of iOS 4.0 such as multitasking, the ability to set a home screen wallpaper, or Bluetooth keyboard support. However, it does provide access to a unified mailbox feature, home screen folders to better organize apps, playlist creation, and other enhancements. This update was widely criticized for slow performance on iPhone 3G, though September 2010's iOS 4.1 release resolved this problem. However, unlike more modern iOS devices, this update again does not provide iPhone 3G owners with access to important features, in this case, the Game Center application.[19]

On November 22, 2010, the iPhone 3G received the iOS 4.2 software update (as iOS 4.2.1), which introduced features such as YouTube voting, and security fixes. However, the iPhone 3G is unable to use many features included in this update, such as AirPlay and Safari Text Search. This is the last iOS release to support this iPhone model; iOS 4.3 and later are not compatible with this iPhone model due to hardware limitations and performance issues.[20]

Virtually all apps released after the release of iOS 6 in late September 2012 do not run on the iPhone 3G, as the software development kit (SDK) was changed to no longer allow the "targeting" (minimum) of iOS versions older than 4.3 (including 3.x and up to 4.2.1), or ARMv6 devices (first two generations).


Main article: iPhone hardware


A rear view of the original iPhone (left) made of aluminum and plastic, and the iPhone 3G (right) made entirely from a hard plastic material[21]

The iPhone 3G's back featured a redesigned polycarbonate plastic housing, replacing the aluminum back of the first generation. Buttons were changed from plastic to metal, and the edges of the phone were tapered, providing a better grip. The iPhone 3G introduced the first official color options for the outer casing, with the 16 GB version available in black and white.

The dimensions of the iPhone 3G were marginally larger than those of the original iPhone. It was 116 millimetres (4.6 in) high, 62 millimetres (2.4 in) wide, and 12 millimetres (0.47 in) deep, compared to its predecessor, which was 110 millimetres (4.3 in) high, 61 millimetres (2.4 in) wide, and 12 millimetres (0.47 in) deep.

The iPhone 3G sported a 3.5 in (89 mm) capacitive touchscreen with a 480×320 (HVGA) resolution at 163 ppi. The scratch-resistant glass sits on top of the display. Just like the original iPhone, the touchscreen was designed for a bare finger, or multiple fingers for multi-touch sensing. The device featured the same sensors as its predecessor. The proximity sensor (which deactivates the display during calls when the face is near) was repositioned to save battery power and to prevent inadvertent inputs from the user's face and ears. An ambient light sensor was included to adjust the display brightness for different lighting conditions, which helps save battery power. A 3-axis accelerometer was included to sense the orientation of the phone and change the screen accordingly, allowing the user to easily switch between portrait and landscape mode.

Processor and memory

Most of the iPhone 3G's internal hardware is based on the original iPhone. It includes a Samsung 32-bit RISC ARM11 620 MHz processor (underclocked to 412 MHz), a PowerVR MBX Lite 3D GPU, and 128 MB of package on package (PoP) DRAM, as the original iPhone did.

Rear camera

On the rear of the device, the iPhone 3G features the same fixed-focus 2.0 megapixel camera of its predecessor. This camera does not have optical zoom, flash, autofocus, or native video recording, although various applications became available to allow video recording on the device. The iPhone 3G's operating system supports the geotagging of photographs.


In addition to EDGE, the iPhone 3G supports Assisted GPS, 3G data, and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA. These enhancements allow faster data downloads and turn-by-turn navigation with maps compared to previous devices.

Like its predecessor, the iPhone 3G features a proprietary 30-pin dock connector for charging the device. It can also be used to synchronize the device with a computer and to connect various accessories.

The iPhone 3G features a flush-mounted 3.5 mm headphone jack instead of the recessed headphone jack that was included on the original iPhone; it could, therefore, be used with any headphones other than those provided by Apple.


The iPhone 3G features an internal rechargeable battery rated at 1150 mAh, which, like its predecessor, is not user-replaceable. Apple stated that the iPhone 3G's battery is capable of providing up to six hours of web browsing via Wi-Fi, or five hours via 3G, or 25 hours of audio playback. Alternatively, it is said to provide 300 hours of standby time.


This section needs expansion with: actual reviews. You can help by adding to it. (October 2014)
Line of people waiting for the iPhone 3G outside of the Apple Store in New York City, 2008

Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal described the device as "a more capable version of an already excellent device." However, he said that it had "hidden costs."[22]


Dropped calls and slow web connections

Shortly after its release, the iPhone 3G faced criticism for frequent dropped calls and sluggish web browsing experiences. Investigations by various sources pointed towards a specific chip within the phone as the culprit for these connectivity problems.

Apple addressed these issues through a software update, avoiding the need for a more drastic measure like a product recall. This update presumably addressed the problematic chip's behavior, improving call quality and internet connection speeds for iPhone 3G users.

While user reports indicated connectivity issues, AT&T, the primary carrier for the iPhone 3G at the time, offered a contrasting perspective. In a statement, they said, "Overall, the new iPhone is performing just great on our 3G network."

Battery drain

iOS 4, which was still compatible with the iPhone 3G, was released on June 21, 2010. An article in the Wall Street Journal's Digits column on July 28, 2010, reported that iPhone 3G phones updating to iOS 4 responded slowly, had diminished battery life, and became excessively hot.[23]

See also


  1. ^ Dalrymple, Jim (July 28, 2009). "iPhone manufacturer to pay family of dead worker". CNET. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  2. ^ "Identify your iPhone model". Apple Support. September 15, 2022. Archived from the original on 2011-09-24. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ Robert Palmer (June 8, 2008). "iPhone 3G announced — The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)". Archived from the original on January 31, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  4. ^ "Apple Sells One Million iPhone 3Gs in First Weekend" (Press release). Apple Inc. July 14, 2008. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  5. ^ Patterson, Blake (July 7, 2008). "Under the Hood: The iPhone's Gaming Mettle". touchArcade. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  6. ^ Dilger, Daniel Eran (March 20, 2008). "iPhone 2.0 SDK: Video Games to Rival Nintendo DS, Sony PSP". RoughlyDrafted Magazine. Archived from the original on May 16, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  7. ^ "Update: U.K. graphics specialist confirms iPhone design win". EE Times. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  8. ^ "Apple (Samsung S5L8900) applications processor with eDRAM". SUBM TechInsights. Archived from the original on July 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "iPod and iPhone Battery and Power Specifications". iPodBatteryFAQ.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  10. ^ "Apple — iPhone — Tech Specs". Apple; Wayback machine. July 14, 2007. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Apple Introduces the New iPhone 3G" (Press release). Apple Inc. June 9, 2008. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  12. ^ "Difference Between 8GB & 16GB on a 3G iPhone". Archived from the original on 2015-02-14. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  13. ^ Costello, Sam. "Initial iPhone 3G Country Availability List". about.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  14. ^ "iPhone 3G Coming to countries everywhere". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on July 21, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  15. ^ Sandoval, Luis. "iPhone 3G only $99, it's Possible". crenk.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-12.
  16. ^ Rothman, Wilson (8 June 2009). "Real Cost of iPhone 3GS: About $218 More Than You Think". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  17. ^ "ImportGenius: The Disruptive Shipping Database". TechCrunch. 28 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2022-09-20. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  18. ^ Evan Ratcliff. "Wired-o-Nomics: Transparency as a Stimulus". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on 2022-07-03. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  19. ^ "iPhone 3G Speed Test: iOS 4.0 versus iOS 4.1". 3 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-24.
  20. ^ Gurman, Mark (12 January 2011). "iOS 4.3 drops iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G support". 9to5mac. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  21. ^ Whittle, Stephanie (Jan 25, 2014). "The Original iPhone 3G Was Built Out of Seemingly Stronger than Aluminum Plastic". EZ Buys Direct. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved Jan 25, 2014.
  22. ^ Mossberg, Walter S. (2008-07-10). "Newer, Faster, Cheaper iPhone 3G". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 2022-05-27. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  23. ^ Valentino-DeVries, Jennifer (July 28, 2010). "Apple Probes Complaints About iOS4 on iPhone 3G". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 28, 2017. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
Preceded byiPhone (1st generation) iPhone 3G 2nd generation Succeeded byiPhone 3GS