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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > My iPhone 3G was programmed to self destruct

My iPhone 3G was programmed to self destruct
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Cory Bauer
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Jun 7, 2010, 09:24 PM
 
My iPhone 3G is coming up on two years old — purchased on the morning of 3G launch day July 11th, 2008. To coincide with the release of the iPhone 4, I believe Apple has programmed my iPhone 3G to self destruct. I kid, mostly. But here's the deal.

It all started with the 3.0 software update released a year ago. When it rolled out, the built-in Maps app suddenly became dog slow; I rely on that app on a daily basis to check when the next bus will be arriving, but after the 3.0 update the app would take 30-60 seconds just to become responsive, and every input that followed was met with another 5 second delay. It also started showing bookmarked locations on a global scale; I don't really need to know where my home is located in relation to Mexico.

Then, data started getting slow. As the year progressed, 3G started feeling like Edge; CNN's homepage now takes 63 seconds to finish loading (for reference, it takes 10 seconds on WiFi with the iPad). I had come to rely mostly on RSS feeds because of the slow speed, but even those now take forever to load; Gizmodo's RSS feed of excerpts takes 20 seconds, and it's just the headlines!

Lately, sometimes even the accelerometer is slow. I turn the phone, and it sometimes takes 5-10 seconds to catch up with me. What doesn't take very long is for my patience to wear thin.

And finally, the frequency of dropped calls, unreceived calls and unreceived voicemails has increased exponentially. People have to email me to ask why I haven't responded to their calls and voicemails they've left in the past hour, all the while my phone has sat idle six feet from me, showing no missed calls or voicemails. Today I received a call, and upon trying to answer it I was met with silence and the Apple reboot screen for two minutes. My iPhone takes significantly longer to locate a network or receive mutual text messages than friends who also have the 3G model. It is quite obviously on its last leg, and no amount of iTunes Restores have made a difference.

Conveniently, Apple has announced a new iPhone model which I can purchase just in the nick of time! Now, I'm not going to pretend like I wasn't going to get the new iPhone anyway, but Apple really hasn't left me much choice with the self-destructing model they sold me originally. I had been seriously considering holding out until Fall in case all of those Verizon rumors pan out, but I really don't think I can keep riding this one-legged horse for the remainder of the summer.

So how has everyone else's iPhone 3G held up?
-Cory Bauer
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phantomdragonz
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Jun 7, 2010, 09:27 PM
 
have you tried a hard reboot yet? hold the home and sleep buttons till the phone shuts off.

then press the sleep button to turn it back on.

whenever I have a slow phone that usually fixes it.

-Zach
     
Cory Bauer  (op)
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Jun 7, 2010, 10:04 PM
 
phantomdragonz, yes I've done plenty of hard reboots in the past year. Thanks for the suggestion though.
-Cory Bauer
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turtle777
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Jun 7, 2010, 10:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post
So how has everyone else's iPhone 3G held up?
It's holding up ok. It's getting slow, so I'm looking forward to the iPhone 4.

-t
     
Cory Bauer  (op)
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Jun 8, 2010, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's holding up ok. It's getting slow, so I'm looking forward to the iPhone 4.

-t
I wonder what it is that causes them to get slower as they age? Is the flash memory getting too fragmented? Are the antennae's dying?
-Cory Bauer
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turtle777
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Jun 8, 2010, 12:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post
I wonder what it is that causes them to get slower as they age? Is the flash memory getting too fragmented? Are the antennae's dying?
I think it's a more complex OS, that has more functionality and therefore, uses more space and CPU cycles.

-t
     
zacharace
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Jun 8, 2010, 02:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

So how has everyone else's iPhone 3G held up?
I hear you, Cory; iPhone 4 can't come soon enough. Although I haven't had any of your missed call/voicemail problems (probably because AT&T isn't as strained in my market) I have experienced sluggishness and/or crashing on a daily basis. It's annoying at the very least.

I guess I'm just glad that I didn't bite when the 3GS came out last summer. The wait was (or, at least, will be) worth it.
     
seanc
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Jun 8, 2010, 06:40 PM
 
No problems over here, except it will occasionally reboot & reset to to 1st Jan 1970 when I stop to fill up for diesel
( Last edited by seanc; Jun 8, 2010 at 07:28 PM. )
     
Big Mac
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Jun 8, 2010, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I think it's a more complex OS, that has more functionality and therefore, uses more space and CPU cycles.

-t
I don't think that can be the whole story, though. I can't imagine iOS 3 is that much slimmer than iOS 4. I have next to zero iPhone experience, but my 1G iPod touch is quite spry.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
turtle777
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Jun 8, 2010, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I don't think that can be the whole story, though. I can't imagine iOS 3 is that much slimmer than iOS 4. I have next to zero iPhone experience, but my 1G iPod touch is quite spry.
I dunno.

Starting up apps on my 3G just takes much longer than it used to.

Doesn't matter if I just re-booted the iPhone or not.
The hardware hasn't changed, so that leaves only the OS.

-t
     
MacinTommy
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Jun 8, 2010, 09:08 PM
 
It's quite unbelievable how slow the 3G has gotten. Two of my friends that still have one and would always be embarrassed using them around my 3GS.
     
mrtew
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Jun 14, 2010, 08:38 PM
 
My two year 3G is fine. I don't think it's any slower than it was when it was new and apps hardly ever crash and I use it for all kinds of ridiculous stuff every day. I'm still getting an iPhone4 though!!!!!

I love the U.S., but we need some time apart.
     
-Q-
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Jun 14, 2010, 09:29 PM
 
Mine has become dog slow. I may be overly sensitive to it knowing a new phone is available soon, but opening any applications (don't get me started on the SMS app) takes forever it seems.
     
B Gallagher
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Jun 16, 2010, 03:51 PM
 
A friend reinstalled the OS on his 3G a while back, apparently it improved the responsiveness on his 3G quite a bit. Just make sure you restore from a backup to save all your SMS messages and other data.
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kylef
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Jun 18, 2010, 06:06 AM
 
I agree with B Gallagher, a fresh installation really speeds things up (I did one last week). Also, it might be worth your while purchasing System Activity Monitor from the App Store - clears your memory and makes things snappier.
     
mrtew
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Jun 18, 2010, 07:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by B Gallagher View Post
A friend reinstalled the OS on his 3G a while back, apparently it improved the responsiveness on his 3G quite a bit. Just make sure you restore from a backup to save all your SMS messages and other data.
What are the steps to follow so you don't lose anything? Will you lose game data etc?

I love the U.S., but we need some time apart.
     
Oisín
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Jun 18, 2010, 07:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
No problems over here, except it will occasionally reboot & reset to to 1st Jan 1970 when I stop to fill up for diesel
Filling diesel into your iPhone is your first mistake here, I think.
     
turtle777
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Jun 18, 2010, 10:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
Filling diesel into your iPhone is your first mistake here, I think.
Proof that only the brightest make mod at 'NN.

-t
     
Oisín
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Jun 18, 2010, 11:26 AM
 
We have our own designated table at MENSA headquarters.
     
seanc
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Jun 18, 2010, 03:08 PM
 
So I should try filling it with Petrol and you think it will work better????????
     
B Gallagher
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Jun 19, 2010, 04:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
So I should try filling it with Petrol and you think it will work better????????
Hey, it's gotta be worth a try, right?
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mrtew
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Jun 19, 2010, 11:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by B Gallagher View Post
A friend reinstalled the OS on his 3G a while back, apparently it improved the responsiveness on his 3G quite a bit. Just make sure you restore from a backup to save all your SMS messages and other data.
What are the steps to follow so you don't lose anything? Will you lose game data etc?

I love the U.S., but we need some time apart.
     
B Gallagher
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Jun 20, 2010, 02:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by mrtew View Post
What are the steps to follow so you don't lose anything? Will you lose game data etc?
Make sure that you have your iPhone backed up. It should do this automatically when you connect it to iTunes. If not, let it backup.
Confirm this by going to Preferences > Devices and making sure that a backup of your iPhone is listed, presumably with today's date, and a time a few minutes ago, if you just backed it up.
At this point you need to restore the iPhone, which restores it to factory settings. So all your data, settings, etc. are gone (technically, they haven't been erased though - this is the difference between "Restore" and "Erase and Restore").
Whichever one you choose, once it's finish restoring, the iPhone will prompt you to connect it to iTunes to activate it. Do this, then it will ask you whether you want to restore the iPhone from a backup, or set it up as a new iPhone. If you want to restore all your messages, app data, etc., chose restore, and choose the backup you created earlier.

Most importantly, if you don't create a backup before you restore, you won't have anything to backup your data from. Self-evident, but always worth repeating.

Much more detail is available here: iPhone and iPod touch: About backups
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