The article below I wrote in 2010. It was valid then but it has nothing to do with reality now. There is no one in the United States that should be using a 3G model at this time, which is December of 2013. The last one I legitimately repaired was in 2012 and that was to prepare it as a gift for a client's relative in Mexico
I keep parts on hand to repair them still, but I will discourage anyone from using one and did this recently when my postal carrier shane showed up with his 16 year old son who is.... okay... remember when that whole goth look was happening about 10 years ago? It's given way to.... most of them... would now be involved in "Steam Punk" and Shane's boy is a steam punker who likes the looks of the 3 series phones. I wouldn't repair his phone even for money, because relying on that phone is unsafe.
The 3G and 3GS models are now too worn out, they only work on a 3rd generation network and they lack the performance needed for modern communication.
The only repairs I'll do on a 3G/3GS model are for a highly sentimental circumstance.... "it was the last thing my wife handed me before she died in car accident" type of sentimentality.
The 3G/3GS series phones have become too un-reliable to use in 2014.
For about 6 months I used an iPhone 3G. It's a good phone and still useful in some ways but I expect it to become orphaned in the next few months for a few reasons.
The 3G was a terrific improvement over the original 2G. That first iPhone was never engineered to be repaired effectively. In fact, it really wasn't intended to be used longer than 2 years. When the 3G came out, you could see it was really the phone that Apple had in mind when they decided to go into the phone market and the 2G was merely a place holder.
The 3G is a phone that is repairable. It's clear when it's apart, that it was designed for easy manufacture and assembly.
It has an appropriate display. Both the 3G and 3GS have a screen resolution that is the same. For a phone, in your hand.... it is a perfect resolution. (I'm saying it, the resolution for the i4 and Touch 4th Gen is problematically over the top.)
When it was released, the 3G was appropriately powered. It's processor was correct.
That device is under powered to run the iOS 4 operating system. And frankly if I had a 3G, I wouldn't have upgraded the OS beyond the 3.1.3 level
In mid-2010 Apple released the iOS 4 operating system and made a version to download and run on the 3G. The 3G is not powerful enough to run iOS 4 effectively. It makes the device v-e-r-y slow to respond and move between screens.
Remember, every time you cable your iPhone to your system, it invokes iTunes and checks to see if you're running the latest version of software for the device. Most people have become familiar with the way this works and have come to trust Apple when they push something out.
The iOS 4 operating system was written to run on the i4 which has a far more powerful processor with faster mem page swap. The i4 can churn through it's OS in ways the 3G never will. And yet Apple compiled and delivered a 3g version.
At the time when it was released for the 3g I warned 3G users I knew not to upgrade. There wasn't anything in it really for them. But we have been trained to respect authority and Apple is *the authority* seemingly on their products.
What iOS 4 delivered of benefit to the user was multitasking and 'folders'. But it made the phone so slow as to be un-useful. Two lawyer friends of mine, made the upgrade, (the last one they will make good-naturedly) and got back phones that behaved so slow they felt compelled to consider getting another phone.
What iOS 4 did, was deliver another revenue stream to Apple in the form of iAds. iAds allow Apple to make money from your click throughs on ads that "sponsor" free Apps. Think about the App Shazam. They make a "free version" that has ads when you click on those ads a certain amount of money goes to the Shazam people and a certain amount of the advertising click through revenue goes to the advertisement presenter. In most cases that Advertising Presenter had been Google (remember the Android operating system was the method Google developed so it would display ads for them. Google gives the operating system away for free to phone makers and then makes money when the phone user clicks on ads on the phone.)
At that time... June 2010, anyone in possession of a 3G being an AT&T carrier customer, would be eligible for an upgrade to the i4. AT&T actually reduced the upgrade calendar cycle to 18 months instead of 2 years for customers that wanted to upgrade to the i4.
If you had a 3G *and* upgraded the OS, even if you had never considered upgrading, it was now on the top of your mind. The process to allow you to "downgrade" back to iOS 3.1.3 was a big complicated hack that obligated you to point your /etc/hosts file to phony "certificate signing" server. I have deep training in computers and knew what the steps were. I couldn't hack my friends iPhones back to 3.1.3
A cynical person.... and i am that cynical person... would think that Apple pushed out a deliberately flawed OS to manipulate their customers into an upgrade thereby allowing Apple to sell millions more iPhones to people that hadn't expected to upgrade.
Also, a cynical person might think greed through iAds use on the 3G phone played a part in pushing the unwieldy OS out to 3G owners.
I wasn't the only one to make these observations and this hit the news in early november 2010.
"November 4, 2010: In what it looks like a late lawsuit, Bianca Wofford, an iPhone 3G customer, is suing Apple for Violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices and False and Deceptive Advertising over the iPhone 3G and iOS 4.0 issues. The lawsuit, which targets to become a class action, mentions that Apple encouraged customers to upgrade their iPhone devices to the new iOS 4.0 knowing that iPhone 3G users would experience performance issues."
Referred to for a few days as the "iBrick" case, the suit read,
"including the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS who, based on false statements made by APPLE, downloaded what was represented as a significant advance and triumph in software, that in reality directly interfered with the functionality of the device and un-breakable data plan contracts with AT&T. In essence, APPLE knowingly and intentionally released what is a called a system software "upgrade" that, in fact, made hundreds of thousands of the Third Generation iPhones that were exclusively tethered to AT&T data plans "useless" for their intended purpose. Since the release of iOS4 in conjunction with the sale and release of the Fourth Generation iPhone, or iPhone 4 in June 2010, APPLE has falsely, intentionally and repeatedly represented to owner and consumers on the iPhone 3G that its new operating system for the device, iOS4, was of a nature, quality and a significant upgrade for the functionality of all iPhone devices, when in fact, the installation and use of iOS4 on iPhone 3G resulted in the opposite - a device with little more use than that of a paper weight."
In subsequent releases of the OS, Apple has claimed performance improvements.