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Although it looks essentially identical to the iPhone 3G before it with the same black or white plastic case design and the same 3.5" display with 320x480 resolution at 163 ppi (albeit with a new "oleophobic" oil repellent coating) -- and still combines mobile phone, iPod, and Internet functionality -- the iPhone 3GS* has a variety of significant additions.
Perhaps most notably, the iPhone 3GS is faster -- "S" refers to its enhanced speed (600 MHz up from 412 MHz, with a dramatically improved graphics processor as well), twice the RAM (256 MB up from 128 MB) -- and adds support for faster 7.2 Mbps HSDPA (802.11b/g and Bluetooth are supported too), a 3.0 megapixel camera -- with VGA video recording at 30 FPS -- as well as autofocus, macro, and white balance support, a "tap to focus" feature, and the ability to trim the beginning and ending of videos, along with a digital compass and A-GPS.
It also includes new accessibility features (VoiceOver), voice control functionality, integrated Nike + iPod support, and an inline remote on the headphone cable (like the iPod shuffle 3G).
The iPhone 3GS released in 2009 includes 16 GB or 32 GB of storage and the version released in 2010 includes 8 GB of storage (for a lower price). Regardless of capacity, Apple reports that it provides "up to" 30 hours of audio playback, 12 hours of talk time on 2G, 5 hours of talk time on 3G, 5 hours of Internet use on 3G, 9 hours of Internet use on Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video playback and 300 hours of standby time.
*For those truly interested in minutia, this model was introduced on June 8, 2009 as the iPhone 3G S (with a space between "3G" and "S"), and on June 23, 2009, Apple changed it to iPhone 3GS (no space).
Click on a category for related details. The most commonly needed info is "open" by default, but all info is important.
|Introduction Date:||June 8, 2009*||Discontinued Date:||September 12, 2012*|
|Details:||The "Introduction Date" refers to the date a model was introduced via press release. The "Discontinued Date" generally refers to the date a model either was replaced by a subsequent system or production otherwise ended.
*On June 7, 2010, upon introducing the iPhone 4, Apple discontinued the 16 GB and 32 GB configurations of the iPhone 3GS model and introduced a new 8 GB configuration for US$99 for new AT&T customers with a two-year contract in the US. On August 9, 2010, China Unicom began selling an 8 GB configuration of this model -- complete with Wi-Fi -- in mainland China. On October 4, 2011, Apple lowered the price in the US to US$0 subsidized by a two-year AT&T contract.
Also see: All iPhone models introduced in 2009.
|Processors:||1||Geekbench 2 (32):||280|
|Details:||Geekbench 2 provides 32-bit benchmarks for iOS models. This number is an average of user provided results as submitted to the Geekbench website. Higher numbers are better.
You also might be interested in reviewing all Geekbench 2 user submissions for devices with the iPhone2,1 Model Identifier, which may include multiple models.
To dynamically compare Geekbench 2 results from different iPod touch, iPhone and iPad models side-by-side, please see EveryiPod.com's Ultimate iComparison.
|Geekbench 3 (32):||150||Geekbench 3 (32):||150|
|Details:||These Geekbench 3 benchmarks are in 32-bit mode and are for a single processor core and all processor cores, respectively. Both numbers reflect an average of user provided results as submitted to the Geekbench website. Higher numbers are better.
You also might be interested in reviewing all 32-bit single core and multicore Geekbench 3 user submissions for devices with the iPhone2,1 Model Identifier, which may include multiple models.
To dynamically compare 32-bit Geekbench 3 results from different iPod touch, iPhone and iPad models side-by-side, see Everyi.com's Ultimate iComparison.
|Geekbench 3 (64):||N/A||Geekbench 3 (64):||N/A|
|Details:||The Geekbench 3 benchmark does not support 64-bit mode for this model. Both numbers reflect an average of user provided results as submitted to the Geekbench website. Higher numbers are better.
You also might be interested in reviewing all 64-bit single core and multicore Geekbench 3 user submissions for devices with the iPhone2,1 Model Identifier, which may include multiple models.
To dynamically compare Geekbench 3 results from different iPod touch, iPhone and iPad models side-by-side, see Everyi.com's Ultimate iComparison.
|Processor Speed:||600 MHz||Processor Type:||Samsung ARM Cortex A8*|
|Details:||*Apple provides no information regarding the iPhone 3GS processor, simply that it is a "closed system", but it is believed to use an ARM Cortex A8 running at 600 MHz (downclocked from 800 MHz). For graphics, it uses a PowerVR SGX graphics processor.
For more details, check out an analysis from the always excellent AnandTech.
Also see: How much faster is the iPhone 3GS than the iPhone 3G? How much difference does this speed boost make in actual use?
|Onboard RAM:||256 MB*||Storage Capacity:||8, 16, 32 GB*|
|Details:||*Apple provides no information regarding the RAM used in the iPhone 3GS, but software analysis has determined it has 256 MB onboard.|
|Song Capacity:||N/A*||Photo Capacity:||N/A*|
|Details:||*Apple does not provide an official estimate for the number of songs, photos, and videos that the iPhone 3GS can hold, instead opting for just gigabytes.|
|USB Support:||Sync & Charge||Firewire Support:||None|
|Case Type:||Handheld||Form Factor:||iPhone 3GS|
|Housing Color:||Black & White*||Controller:||Multi-touch|
|Details:||*Available with a black glass front and choice of black or white plastic back. The 8 GB configuration introduced June 7, 2010 only was offered in black.
The patented "multi-touch" interface allows one to control the functions of the system by dragging one or more fingers across the display.
Also see: How does the iPhone "multi-touch" interface work? Who developed the "multi-touch" interface originally?
|Built-in Display:||3.5" Color||Display Resolution:||320x480 (163 ppi)|
|Details:||The iPhone 3GS has a 3.5" 320 by 480 display (163 ppi) with an "oleophobic" (oil repellent) coating.
In the US, site sponsor Mission Repair offers free diagnosis of hardware problems and 24-hour repairs for cracked displays as well as dead batteries, broken buttons, and more for this iPhone.
For those interested in do-it-yourself repair, Mission Repair sells quality upgrade kits and parts for this iPhone worldwide.
Also see: How do I replace the glass cover, digitizer, and display (LCD screen) on the iPhone 3GS?
|Standard Wireless:||802.11b/g*||Standard Bluetooth:||2.1+EDR|
|Details:||*The iPhone 3GS also supports 3G (UMTS/HSDPA - 7.2 Mbps) and GSM/EDGE networks.|
|Cell Network:||2G/3G*||Camera:||3.0 Megapixels**|
|Details:||*The iPhone 3GS supports both 3G (UMTS/HSDPA -- 850, 1900, 2100 MHz - 7.2 Mbps) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) networks.
**The iPhone 3GS camera supports geotagging, like its predecessor, but also shoots VGA video at 30 FPS with audio, supports autofocus, macro, and white balance support, a "tap to focus" feature, and the ability to trim the beginning and ending of videos.
|Battery Type:||Lithium Ion||Battery Life (Music):||30 Hours|
|Details:||Also see: How do I replace the battery in the iPhone 3GS?|
|Battery Life (Voice):||5-12 Hours*||Standby Time:||300 Hours|
|Details:||*Apple reports that the iPhone 3GS provides "up to" 30 hours of audio playback, 12 hours of talk time on 2G, 5 hours of talk time on 3G, 5 hours of Internet use on 3G, 9 hours of Internet use on Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video playback and 300 hours of standby time.
Also see: How does the battery life of the iPhone 3GS compare to the iPhone 3G in "real-world" tests? Is the battery designed to be replaced?
|Apple Order No:||MB715LL/A*||Apple Subfamily:||iPhone 3GS|
|Details:||*MB715LL/A refers to the 16 GB configuration in black. 16 GB in white is MB716LL/A, 32 GB in black is MB717LL/A, 32 GB in white is MB718LL/A. The 8 GB configuration, only available in black, is assigned MC555LL/A.|
|Apple Model No:||A1303 (EMC 2315*)||Model ID:||iPhone2,1|
|Details:||*Please note that these identifiers often refer to more than one model. In this case, please also note that the EMC number is not externally listed on the device so it cannot be used readily for identification.
Also see: All iPhones with the A1303 Model Number, the 2315* EMC Number, and the iPhone2,1 Model Identifier.
|Pre-Installed OS:||iPhone OS 3.0*||Maximum OS:||iOS 6.1.6**|
|Details:||*When this model was released, Apple referred to the operating system as "iPhone OS." On June 7, 2010, the company changed the name to simply "iOS".
The iPhone 3GS is partially supported by iOS 6. It is not supported by iOS 7 or subsequent versions of the operating system at all.
Also see: Which iPhone models fully support iOS 6? For models that "partially" support iOS 6, which features are and are not supported?
|Dimensions:||4.5 x 2.4 x 0.48||Avg. Weight:||4.8 oz. (135 g)|
|Details:||In inches - height by width by depth (115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm).|
|Mac Support:||Mac OS X 10.4.11||Windows Support:||Windows XP SP2/Vista|
|Details:||Apple reports that the iPhone 3GS is compatible with a "Mac computer with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later, and iTunes 8.2 or later."
It is compatible with a "PC with a USB 2.0 port, Windows Vista; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later, and iTunes 8.2 or later."
|Audio Support:||Apple reports that the iPhone 3GS supports "AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 1, 2, and 3), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV."|
|Photo Support:||Apple does not formally specify photo formats for the iPhone 3GS. The Safari web browser, however, supports JPG, GIF, and TIFF images, and the iPod function of the iPhone 3GS supports images synchronized from iTunes.|
|Video Support:||Apple reports that the iPhone 3GS supports "H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats"|
|Incl. Accessories:||Ships with "Apple Earphones with Remote and mic, dock connector to USB cable, USB power adapter, documentation, and a SIM eject tool".|
|Original Price:||US$199, US$299*||Est. Current Retail:||US$25-US$125|
|Details:||*For new AT&T Wireless customers only, the original 16 GB configuration was US$199 and the 32 GB configuration was US$299. For "non-qualified" customers, the price of these devices with a new two-year agreement originally was US$599 or US$699.
On June 7, 2010, Apple discontinued the 16 GB and 32 GB configurations of the iPhone 3GS and introduced an 8 GB configuration -- alongside the then new iPhone 4 -- for US$99 for new/qualified AT&T Wireless customers with a new two-year agreement. The non-qualified price was US$499.
On October 4, 2011, Apple dropped the price to US$0 with a two-year contract from AT&T.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc.
Global original prices for the iPhone 3GS in 24 different countries and territories follow; organized alphabetically by region. Please note that prices with an asterisk (*) are bound by carrier contractual obligations.
For global original prices for all iPod, iPhone, and iPad models in one particular country on a single page, please refer to Everyi.com's Global Original Prices section.
If you have additional original prices for this iPhone, please share. Thank you.
Original Prices - North America
|Canada:||C$199, C$299*||United States:||US$199, US$299*|
Original Prices - Europe
|United Kingdom:||£185, £275*|
Original Prices - Asia
|China:||N/A||Hong Kong:||HK$4,488, HK$5,388, HK$6,288|
|Japan:||¥11,520, ¥23,040*||Singapore:||S$548, S$678*|
Original Prices - Australia & New Zealand
|Australia:||N/A||New Zealand:||NZ$399, NZ$599*|
Ten of the most popular Q&As about the iPhone line follow.