Apple showed off its new wares to the world today, but the biggest surprise wasn’t a shiny new “one last thing…” gizmo. Nope: it’s that the 2009 iPhone 3GS getting iOS 6. Is this the longest lasting smartphone ever?

Launched at WWDC three years ago, the iPhone 3GS is still on sale – and by releasing iOS 6 for it, Apple has just extended its life even further. It’s not clear which features it will be missing, though it’s unlikely to offer Siri-powered voice control and navigation in the new Maps app.

Apple infamously updated the iPhone 3G to iOS 4 two years ago, but received much backlash: it lacked the multi-tasking other models received, and actually slowed down devices in some cases. But Apple’s iPhone 3GS received almost every feature in last year’s iOS 5 update, and looks set to get the same again.

Why is Apple bothering, so long after launch, when it’s already dropping support for the first iPad? The answer is simply that it’s still on sale. And let’s face it, while the iPhone 4 and 4S are significantly more powerful devices, the iPhone 3GS is still an impressive device that can almost match them for software functionality (although with our nitpicking pants on, we do wish its camera was a bit better).

What do you think? Would you buy an iPhone 3GS in 2012, knowing that it’ll support Apple’s new iOS? Or does it belong in the past? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Mistressbrindello

    I wouldn’t have bought the 4S if I’d known Siri was never going to work in the UK. I’ve lost my trust in apple and kept thinking throughout wwdc “but will it work here?’

    The 3GS is a tidy phone if you don’t care about the camera or Siri. At least it won’t cost £600 like my 4S did.

    • Karen-s

      And if all the new features work for Siri ONLY when iOS 6 comes out and there is new hardware, all the Brits who upgraded from 4 to 4S in November thinking there’d be an upgrade on the way in January, will feel well shafted!

  • Guest

    Why in the world would a slower/older iphone be somehow better than the 4S?  (Both run IOS6)

  • motocrossed

    I just bought a brand new one (99cents) with my new at&t contract.  I am retiring from work and need to turn in my iphone 4.  Still wanted to have an iphone but could not justify the cost of the 4s.  The 3GS will be fine, I don’t run a bunch of apps and, I don’t need turn by turn navigation if it does not have that part of the upgrade.  Never used Siri, never will.

  • Patrick

    You can grab the Huawei g300 for £100 and get it unlocked for under £10. Its 1ghz and full mobile flash support etc etc.
    Or pay £70 more than the iphone 3gs and get a 5.3″ Galaxy note from Expansys. But thats just my 2p worth

    • Nuckchorris

      That’s like offering a Skoda rather than a BMW … no thanks, I’ll stick with the iPhone

      • Ohdear

        excellent fanboi reply from nuckchorris there.

      • Patrick

        Thats funny, the G300 is faster and has more gpu power than the first Samsung Galaxy S and cost £100. better screen and you can change the battery and takes micro sd card. I was a sheep with a iPhone 3g and 3gs and now android, I own over 400 iOS apps for kids and wifes ipod touch,

        I must admit most Android phones rubbish at the lower end and I understand. but why not get the G300 and find out how much a phone can really do.

      • Kum_aditya

         A galaxy S 3 is best!!!!!!!!!

  • Exodus Titan

    Frankly. I’m a user of the iPhone 3GS and I find it excellent. No need a better phone. Either ways. The 3GS is getting ios 6 and I’m not interested in resolution, Siri or pictures. So 3GS is fine with me.

  • Guest

    I won’t buy a new one because I already own one…. its a great phone. but disconnects frequently… has lasted several years with no problem… but its about time for an upgrade… and I’m going back with iPhone… I also have an android, its ok… but my primary phone will still be iPhone… just look at the last keynote and you can see why… 75 percent or so iPhones are on ios5 … android is all over the place and hardly ever get updates to the new features …. so i’ll take iPhone 5 or 4sG or new iPhone or whatever lol. 

  • Guest

    siri should know work in the uk with iOS 6

  • Red The Dog

    My 3GS absolutely sucks on IOS 5. It crashes frequently, sucks battery and runs noticeably slower. I have no plans to purchase another apple device. If only Apple would allow us to roll back to an IOS version that actually works well I might be a little happier. I only upgraded because I had to to get certain apps. It was a good phone on IOS 4.

    • ayan

      strange I also have a 3gs and I play a lot of 3d games on it nova infinity blade 1,2 etc but I never have performance issues hmmm… if your iphone is jailbroken try uninstalling winterboard that might work or turn off more memory leeching services of ios 5

  • manav

    yup i will buy i have iphone 3gs ios 4.3.3 but i know that ios 6 will be better

  • Oscar

    Well I own an iPhone 3Gs and it it working fine ! I don´t need an iPhone 4 !

  • AVInter

    This is awesome. I have a 3GS and I love the fact it will support iOS 6. I was afraid Apple would leave it dead at iOS 5.1.1 But NO! Thanks Apple. Apple has a good reason why 3GS supports iOS 6 but no the first iPad.

  • Denya

    Recently, i bought 3gs, I am very pleased

  • Oliver

    I had a 3GS until a month ago. It was running iOS 5.1 (or whatever th latest one is) and that phone was so slow. I dont dare to imagine how it runs iOS 6, probably not too well!

  • brandon

    Should I get this phone, or the iPhone 4? I’m living in Singapore by the way.

    • Masha M

      Ya we live in Spore…. they are so phone freaks. I will still stick to 3gs as long as i could.

  • Gamaraala

    I bought my 3GS in Dubai about 3 years back. Cost me around $1000. Yes it was expensive by then but I am really happy with it. I still use it and never wanted to upgrade to 4 or 4S. I was hoping that 5 would be able to convince me to buy one but apparently, no. 3GS rocks.

  • Billman

    I have got an iPhone 3g and a 3gs they are such a good phone I will not be getting any of the newer iPhones as I do not like the shape of them. The 3gs looks and feels better and as I have got it jailbroken i now have Siri on it so it’s just as good as the newer iPhones

  • Michael Mathews

    I’ve had my 3GS for about a year. Very happy with it still. Love it.
    I actually prefer the shape to the 4 – 5′s.

    Bought it in the UK, unlocked, from Apple for £299 I think.
    Like it some much got my partner one as well.
    Wish I could afford to buy a couple and keep them in the drawer for the future, but know it wont work on LTE 4th generation networks soon.

    Not too impressed with battery life on iOS6, so may go back to 5.1.1 and it’s Google maps.

    I don’t see technology like Siri being usable for the next decade. My friends say it is a bit of fun for 10 minutes but mostly frustration after that.

  • saaasssssssssssssss

    just bought one for 200 dollars and wouldnt even think of gettin another iphone

  • danny

    3gs with ios4 is slow, with ios5 is reeeeeaaaalllyyyyy slow, with ios6 should be freezed lol

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