iPhone OS 3.1.3 users unable to download new apps

A possible glitch is preventing iPhone and iPod Touch users from downloading new apps from Apple's App Store, according to several comments on Apple's Support Communities.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
iPhone users stuck on version 3.1.3 say they can no longer download new apps.
iPhone users stuck on version 3.1.3 say they can no longer download new apps. Apple

iPhone owners still running OS 3.1.3 are apparently bumping into trouble trying to download new apps from Apple's App Store.

Several users of the older OS have chimed in on Apple's Support Communities reporting that they can update existing apps and sync apps from iTunes to their phones, but they can't install new apps directly to their devices.

One commenter described the problem in part as follows:

Whenever I go into a specific app in the app store, none of the buttons work properly. 1) clicking on the price no longer downloads the app, 2) the ratings button does nothing, 3) the 'tell a friend' and 'git this app' buttons jump back to the top of the app window, 4) pictures usually don't show up...

The issue seemed to start around December 15 and apparently is still causing headaches.

The glitch affects both iPhone and iPod Touch units running OS 3.1.3 and, in some cases, earlier versions of 3.x. However, at least one user reported the same issue with an iPhone 4S. And CNET Senior Editor Bridget Carey also ran into this problem on her iPhone 4S, explaining that she had to back up her phone and then restore it to get the app downloads to work again.

But a restore doesn't necessarily do the trick for those with older devices.

Two forum commenters said they went through a factory restore but were still unable to download new apps. Several users also confirmed that their previously downloaded apps now show prices instead of the Installed button when viewed in the App Store, leading them to pin the blame on an incompatibility between the latest App Store version and OS 3.1.3.

Tech news site Engadget was also able to confirm the issue by testing one of its devices.

Some forum users who contacted Apple said they were advised to upgrade their operating system. But those with older iPhones and iPod Touches are stuck with version 3.1.3 since iOS 4.x and 5.x support only newer devices.

Another user reportedly received a response from an Apple rep who said that he had not "received any news stating that there was an issue with iOS 3.1.1, and accessing the application store."

We contacted an Apple representative, who said the company is looking into the matter and promised to get back to us with more information.