Difference Between 3G and 3GS

In today’s society, Apple iPhones are the status symbol which many people aspire to own. The company provides numerous options in cellphones to cater to the needs of the different sections of society. 

 iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are two models of cellphones by company Apple. These two are less distinguished by their looks and more distinguished by their specifications and attributes.  

3G vs 3GS 

The main difference between iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is that these two are separate in terms of their internal features and characteristics. In terms of appearance and outer looks, the difference between the both is almost negligible, but when we look carefully at the specifications of both the device, we see a lot of different things.  

3G vs 3GS

The iPhone 3G was initially released in 2008. It was the company’s first 3G-enabled model to be released. The goal of this phone was to increase the appeal of iPhones among consumers. People were able to distinguish Apple’s operating system, iPhone OS, because of this phone. This phone paved the groundwork for future iPhones to enter the market. 

The iPhone 3GS, on the other hand, was the follow-up to the previous generation, and the S in this iPhone stood for “Speed.” This phone was pitched by Apple as having improved network speed options. Aside from the speed boost, this phone was an upgrade over the iPhone 3G. The iPhone 3GS addressed all of the iPhone 3G‘s key flaws. 

Comparison Table Between 3G and 3GS 

Parameters of Comparison 3G 3GS 
Launch Date The year 2008 The year 2009 
Major USP The first 3G enabled phone from Apple. ‘Speed’ factor is denoted by the S in the name itself. 
Generation The second generation of iPhone The third generation of iPhone. 
Successor of Original iPhone  iPhone 3G 
Appearance Weighed 130 Grams. Weighed 135 Grams. 
Camera It had a 2 Megapixel camera but no option for recording videos. It had a 3.15 Megapixel camera with video recording enabled.  
Processor 412 MHz 600 MHz 
Storage Options  Maximum storage of 12 Gigabytes was available. The storage limit was increased up to 232 Gigabytes. 
Other Notable Attributes none Compass was incorporated in the model to improve the user experience. Cut, copy, paste options were also new. 

What is 3G? 

Introduced in the year 2008, this phone was the successor to the original iPhone. It belonged to the second generation of the iPhone and offered numerous attributes which were not previously available. The phone was released in a total of 22 countries. 

Looking at the hardware and design of the handset, this phone had a 3.5 inches touchscreen and weighed 130 grams. The proximity sensor and the operating buttons were located at the same place as they were on the original iPhone. 

Coming at the software, it had a processor working at 412 MHz. Shockingly, the processor incorporated in this handset belonged to Samsung and not Apple. The rear camera of the device was 2 Megapixels, and it had no front camera for capturing selfies. Even to the fact, there was no technology enabling video recording. 

The phone had two variants in terms of storage capacity. The 16 GB variant had two color options which were black and white. But the 32 GB variant had no color choice. There were certain features in the handset, which made it different from the original iPhone, such as-. 

  • This handset was the first 3G-enabled phone. 
  • It introduced the apple app store. 
  • GPS 
  • Turn by turn navigation 

What is 3GS? 

As the successor to the iPhone 3G, this handset was released in 2009. This was an iPhone from the third generation. The additional ‘S’ on this handset stood for ‘Speed.’ The phone was sold in eight different countries.  

The phone came in two versions, each with a 3.5-inch touchscreen. One was 16 GB, and the other was 32 GB. 

This phone was essentially an upgrade to the iPhone 3G. It addressed all of the major flaws of the iPhone 3G. It not only addressed those flaws but also added some new features. 

Some of the major features of this phone were- 

  • Magnetic compass for navigation 
  • Better camera quality 
  • Video recording enabled  

Main Differences Between 3G and 3GS 

  1. iPhone 3G was the first phone released by Apple having a 3G network capacity. This was the major USP of the phone. While iPhone 3GS was advertised as having improved network adapting technology. 3GS was made to adapt to mobile networks quicker than the previous models. 
  2. iPhone 3G was launched in the year 2008, while iPhone 3GS was released one year later. 
  3. iPhone 3G had a camera of Two Megapixels, and it did not support video recordings. On the other hand, iPhone 3GS had a camera of 3.15 Megapixels and supported video recordings.  
  4. iPhone 3G had maximum storage of 16 Gigabytes available, but iPhone 3GS offered an increased storage capacity of 32 Gigabytes. 
  5. iPhone 3G was a basic iPhone compared to the iPhones today and offered no extraordinary features. While in the iPhone 3GS, Apple added a few extra features to make it a successor and superior version of iPhone 3G. These features were Voice control, Magnetic compass, Video recording, etc. 


iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS were two of the initial handsets offered by Apple. They introduced to the world the whole concept of the iPhone. They introduced the distinguished operating system, camera quality, and aesthetics

Both the handsets were discontinued in the year 2012, but they can still be bought from e-retail stores. While getting one of these phones today may not be the best decision, those who have owned them in the past remember them fondly. 

The iPhone 3G was the first device of its kind, ushering in the era of 3G phones. It paved the way for future iPhones and had a significant impact. However, this handset had some flaws, including poor network adaption and a weak battery. 

 The company started a new chain of iPhones with iPhone 3GS by making it an upgrade to the former iPhone. This phone has all the features improved, and it captured the market easily.  


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26627964  
  2. https://papers.put.as/papers/ios/2011/bh-ad-11-Belenko-iOS_Data_Protection.pdf  
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