iOS4 takes the '3G' out of the iPhone 3G


Though the problem doesn’t appear to be affecting all iPhone 3G owners, a number of people have reported that since upgrading to iOS4, their phones can no longer connect to their carrier via 3G or EDGE. Other are saying that MMS capability has been knocked offline.

Apple has acknowledged these issues and has offered advice on how to fix the problems. But even after trying these recommendations, our video editor, Steve F. found himself with a phone that refused to connect.

Steve was among the first in Canada to upgrade his 2-year old iPhone 3G to Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS4. After completing the upgrade, he provided us with some of his thoughts on the process. To say he wasn’t impressed is an understatement. “If I could go back in time and make the decision to upgrade over again, I’d probably decide to keep my OS 3,” he lamented. But he chose to stick with iOS4 to see if the few improvements it offered him were worth the compromises.

Two weeks later, it happened. His iPhone wouldn’t connect to his carrier, Rogers Wireless.

“At first I though it was something I had done”, he said. Steve, who is very familiar with the inner workings of the iPhone, might have been more freaked out by the incident, but as luck would have it, a friend of his had experienced the same problem a few days before hand. He called Steve to see if his problem was unique. “Turns out [he] wasn’t alone,” said Steve.

Frustrated by the fact that Apple’s remedies weren’t correcting the issue, Steve reached out to the web and found a possible fix on Unfortunately, this option is of the thermonuclear variety: Doing a full restore of your iPhone using the “setup as a new phone” choice. Such a drastic measure results in all of the data being wiped clean, with no way to bring it back. Your downloaded apps are still available within iTunes to re-sync to your phone, but any data those apps might have saved locally including contacts, high-scores, or favourites are gone forever. It turns out that in these cases, simply doing a routine restore procedure doesn’t purge the bad data that causes the connectivity issue in the first place.

Ultimately, Steve did perform the full restore and found that doing so brought back his 3G connection as promised. And though he did lose all of his data, there was a silver lining: His iPhone 3G now runs iOS4 very quickly – much faster than it did after performing the original upgrade.

Has this made Steve a fan of Apple’s iOS4?

“No. I’m still frustrated,” he responds. Despite the improved speed of his now-squeaky-clean iPhone, he feels let down by the lack of advantages offered by the OS for iPhone 3G owners.

“I just don’t see the point.”

Readers: have you been caught unawares by a recent iPhone upgrade? If not, has this cautionary tale persuaded you to stick with your current OS? Let us know.



  1. Pierre

    Hi Simon,

    Here is my dilemna!

    My father’s day gift from my wife will be an iPhone 4. Reading all the issues that users have had with the new Apple product, I have a dilemna now!

    Should I just get an Iphone 3GS and download the iOS4 upgrade to give it more performance for the buck?

    Or wait til July 24th, get the iPhone 4 and hope all the issues are resolved?

    Your help and opinion is greatly appreciated

    Toronto On


    • Simon Cohen

      Hey Pierre, good question!
      From everything I’ve read, despite the recent reported problems with the external antenna, the iPhone 4 sounds like an amazing device. That said, I don’t believe it has any truly killer features that you would find yourself wishing you had, with the possible exception of better battery life – hey who doesn’t want more of that?
      So it depends on what you value more – having the latest and greatest, with the possibility of a few bugs that need ironing out or something tried and true. All that to say, if you’re in love with the iPhone 4, I haven’t read anything that convinces me it’s a dog – if you’re wife is willing to make that your gift, I’d say you’re a pretty lucky guy :)
      BTW, where did you get the July 24th date from? I’ve been bugging my contacts here at Bell for weeks and they haven’t even so much as hinted when the phone will hit Canadian stores.


      • Pierre

        Thanks for the feedback, Simon. I really appreciate it.

        Yeah! That was quote the surprise when she voiced that! I was thinking of getting the 3GS but she said: Why don’t I get you the new one when it comes out for Father’s day? Like I was going to argue that!! hahaha..

        As for the release date, I read it on 2 different “websites”. I don’t know if it’s really reliable but it’s something to go with. It’s rumoured for July 23rd, not 24th. My bad!

        Here is one of the sites:


      • Pierre

        here is another rumour about the iPhone4 launch in canada! Rumour are just rumour but they better than nothing at all!

        iPhone 4 will be out around July 21-23 rogers has training on the iphone 4 for there reps on the 14th of july, so about 1 week later it should be available!


  2. Mark

    Hi Simon,

    I haven’t lost the 3G connection (yet) but I do find after upgrading to the iOS4, my IPhone 3G has been extremely buggy. Nowhere near as smooth as before. Typing lags and freezes all the time, auto correct is even worse, even the keyboard seems worse for accuracy. Applications take longer to load and freeze at times. The zoom on the camera is horrible. All the pics turn out blurry.
    But it’s the constant lagginess and freezing especially when texting/writing emails is what drives me nuts. I really wish I didn’t get the udpate. My girlfriend has the same problems with her phone too after getting the upgrade.


  3. Vicki

    Hi. I’ve recently upgraded my iPod Touch to the new ios4 and, like Mark, noticed that my pictures had lost quality and became blurry.

    I recently re-synced to add new music and iTunes optimized my photos during the sync, and since then, my photos regained their original quality.

    I don’t know if this will work on the iphone, but it’s worth a try.


  4. JP

    iPod Touch 3g users are in a similar situation. Updating to OS4 has screwed up many apps, and they will no longer run properly. I would have loved to downgrade my ipod back to v3 until these problems are corrected, but Apple will not allow you to do so. (The arrogant bastards)


  5. Rod

    This guy doesn’t sound too bright to me.This issue was well documented the day that iOS4 was released. Any search of the internet would tell you to backup and restore if you were using an older iPhone. As well as which features would be compatible with the older iPhones.
    Seems to be way too many incompetent people making stories where there is nothing any more.


  6. phns

    EXAMPLE ONE:Non jailbreaker: “Hey man i just got the new iOS4 update for my iPhone, isnt the multitasking so cool? I love apple!”Jailbreaker: “Yeaaa, most of us have had that for a long time now. Steve just likes to drag out features so we appreciate them more later”Non jailbreaker: “Shut up i love apple!…. if i can just figure out how to use this newfangled ‘folders’ thing”EXAMPLE TWO:Steve Jobs:”Alright my software creators, I’ve come up with a couple great ideas, look at my phone (pulls out jailbroken phone)


  7. dorian

    my iphone 3g had a very badly cracked screen. so i went to apple and got it replaced. and when i got it back the sound didnt work and the typing was laggy and it operated slowly. so i upgraded it to 4.0 and now it wont let me type on my lockscreen it takes several minutes. i dont know what to do. HELP!!!


  8. samira

    but after resettings ,am i going to lose all my apps bcause my iphone 3gs is jail broken,,,please help i need a help