Slow iPhone 3G? iOS update could be on the way

Apple sending mixed signals about a possible software update for customers complaining of slow iPhone 3Gs after upgrading to iOS 4.

When Apple released iOS 4 in June, owners of older-model iPhones who upgraded to the latest iOS software complained of slowness and shorter battery life. Apple said in July it was "investigating" the complaints.

Almost three weeks have passed since then and there hasn't been an update. That is, until Friday, when a customer took his complaint about his iPhone 3G lagging on zooming, scrolling, and typing to the boss himself, CEO Steve Jobs, and got a short, clipped answer via e-mail, according to the account posted on MacRumors: "Software update coming soon."

If it is indeed an actual reply from Jobs (which we can't actually know--Apple doesn't confirm the authenticity of Jobs' e-mails that often get posted online--but the CEO is known to respond to customers personally), "soon" isn't awfully specific. It's possible the update he's referring to is iOS 4.1, which is already in developers' hands for testing .

Officially, an Apple representative said there was no update to the company's earlier comment that it is investigating iPhone 3Gs with iOS 4-related performance issues.

Readers have complained to CNET and Apple's own forums are filled with iPhone 3G owners unhappy with the effect of the iOS 4 update. One reader said last month iOS 4 made his iPhone 3G "massively slower in performing all tasks," and causes it to freeze while typing, Web-browsing, and using other apps "like it never did before iOS 4."

Some have tried downgrading their iPhone 3G to iOS 3 and seen better results. CNET's Brian Tong made a video showing how to do this:

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur. E-mail Erica.

 

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