I've "inherited" an iPhone 3G from a friend who upgraded to iPhone 4. He had complined about the slowness of iOS 4. Although I personally have no problems with it, I was wondering if iOS 4.2 offers any noticeable performance improvement. Does iOS 4.2 improve performance on the iPhone 3G?

6 Answers 6


From the iLounge article

Thus far iOS 4.2 appears to perform as well as iOS 4.1 did under similar conditions. Performance even on older devices such as the iPhone 3G is the same as iOS 4.1 and thus far we haven’t observed any significant changes in battery life.


It actually seems faster than 4.1 to me on my 3G.


My iPhone 3G has become slower in some occasions with iOS 4.2 especially when pasting an address from Mail to Maps.


I have an iPhone 3G that I use for testing. 4.2.1 seems insanely slow on it, but maybe that's just because I've gotten so used to the speed of the 3GS and iPhone 4 over the past two years and forget what the "normal" speed of a 3G should feel like.

  • I told everyone that they have no room to complain when 4.0 came out. I used the 4.0 betas (part of the developer program) for nearly the first half of the year on my 3G. It was miserable. I really like 4.0, but I think that's because each beta was better than the last, so I got the opposite effect. Good -> Horrible -> Better. Commented Dec 16, 2010 at 2:13

IOS4.2.1 is better than 4.1 for sure!!! I did not use yet the 3gs nor the iphone4, and got through every iOS "upgrade" available starting 3.1.3 , 4.0 , 4.0.1, 4.1 and probably yhe last one for the 3G 4.2.1 ! almost as fast as the 3.1.3 ,and with all the advantages of the 4.x ( folders, ibooks, faster maps, faster jawa, geo-tagging new caracters for notes, easier copy paste ((i think...)), etc. deffinatley a good option to upgrade! you will not be sorry!!!

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    Spelling, grammar, less special characters, and maybe even a newline or two. Please? Also, what the heck is jawa? Commented Dec 16, 2010 at 2:11
  • @Jason: they're those little people in robes that sell droids on the black market. Commented Dec 16, 2010 at 4:16
  • Well I knew that, but in-context what is sind talking about? Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 20:47

My wife's 3GS which has 3.1.3 runs much faster than my 3GS with 4.3.5(BL1). However I cannot backup her unit in newly purchased MacBook Pro with Lion, but I can backup mine. I see it as Apple's way to force us to upgrade to their latest iOS even if that means to sacrifice performance. I don't like that at all, therefore I chose to backup 3.1.3 to a WinXP machine.

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