iPhone 3G Explained

Source: apple.com – iPhone 3G

The Apple iPhone 3G (2nd Generation iPhone), a pivotal iteration within the iPhone series, was crafted, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Inc. during the period from 2008 to 2010. The iPhone 3G was unveiled on June 9, 2008, ushering in a new era of mobile connectivity. Its introductory price point, starting at $199, marked a significant shift in accessibility for cutting-edge smartphone technology.

Building upon the groundbreaking features of its predecessor, the iPhone 3G introduced several notable enhancements. Foremost among these was the integration of 3G networking, delivering data speeds twice as fast as its predecessor. This improvement, coupled with the inclusion of built-in GPS functionality, expanded the realm of location-based mobile services available to users.

Additionally, the iPhone 3G debuted with the iPhone 2.0 software, a platform that not only supported Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync but also facilitated the seamless integration of third-party applications developed using the newly released iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit). This convergence of hardware and software advancements heralded a new era of possibilities for both developers and users alike.

Apple’s ambitious vision for the iPhone 3G extended far beyond national borders. With availability planned in over 70 countries, including key markets such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia, the device promised to redefine the standards of mobile communication on a global scale.

In the words of Steve Jobs, Apple’s iconic CEO at the time of the iPhone 3G’s release, “Just one year after launching the iPhone, we’re launching the new iPhone 3G that is twice as fast at half the price.” This sentiment encapsulated the company’s relentless pursuit of innovation and accessibility in the smartphone market.

The technological prowess of the iPhone 3G extended beyond its networking capabilities. With support for Wi-Fi, 3G, and EDGE networks, the device seamlessly navigated between connectivity options to ensure optimal performance. Moreover, the introduction of simultaneous voice and data communication enabled users to multitask effortlessly, enhancing the overall user experience.

A cornerstone of the iPhone 3G’s appeal lay in its robust enterprise features, including support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. This functionality facilitated over-the-air synchronization of email, contacts, and calendars, catering to the needs of business users in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Furthermore, the debut of the App Store revolutionized the smartphone experience, offering users a vast array of native applications spanning diverse categories such as gaming, productivity, and entertainment. The accessibility of the App Store, available over cellular networks and Wi-Fi, underscored Apple’s commitment to convenience and user empowerment.

The iPhone 3G boasted an impressive array of technical specifications, including a 412 MHz Samsung ARM 11 processor, a vibrant 3.5″ multi-touch LCD display, and a choice of 8GB or 16GB of flash memory. Additional features such as built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, and a 2.0-megapixel camera further enhanced its appeal to consumers.

On June 8, 2009, Apple discontinued the 16GB model of the iPhone 3G, although the 8GB version remained available for new AT&T customers at a reduced price of $99. Ultimately, the iPhone 3G was succeeded by the iPhone 3GS, marking the conclusion of a remarkable chapter in the evolution of smartphone technology.

Today, the iPhone 3G stands as a symbol of innovation and progress, commemorating 15 years since its inception. Its enduring legacy continues to inspire future generations of mobile devices, serving as a testament to Apple’s unwavering commitment to excellence in design and functionality.

iPhone 3G
Source: apple.com – iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G Details

Introduced June 9, 2008 – 15 years ago
Released July 11, 2008 – 15 years ago
Discontinued June 8, 2009 (16 GB) – 14 years ago
June 7, 2010 (8 GB) – 13 years ago
Last Software Update November 22, 2010 – 13 years ago
Time on the Market 22 months (1 year)
Time of Support 28 months (2 years)
Model Identifier iPhone1,2
Model Number A1241 (Worldwide)
A1324 (China)
EMC 2347
Generation 2nd
Order Number MB046LL/A (8 GB Black)
MB048LL/A (16 GB Black)
MB499LL/A (16 GB White)
Original Price $199 (8 GB on a two-year contract)
$299 (16 GB on a two-year contract)
$99 (8 GB on a two-year contract from June 8, 2009)
Colors Black (8 GB & 16 GB)
White (16 GB)
Weight 4.7 oz. – 133 Grams
Dimensions 4.5” H x 2.4” W x 0.48″ D
11.43 cm H x 6.09 cm W x 1.21 cm D
Predecessor Original iPhone
Successor iPhone 3Gs

iPhone 3G Tech Specs


Processor Samsung ARM 1176JZ(F)-S
Processor Speed 620 MHz (running at 412 MHz)
Architecture 32-bit
Number of Cores 1


Storage 8 GB
16 GB


Memory 128 MB LPDDR


Graphics Card PowerVR MBX Lite
Number of Cores 1


Display 3.5″ widescreen LCD Display
Resolution 320 x 480
Pixel Density 163 ppi
Input Multi-Touch


Buttons Volume + / –
Sleep / Wake up


Sensors Proximity
Ambient light


Networks UMTS / HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g (A1241)
None (A1324)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
SIM slot mini-SIM
Ports 1 – 30-pin dock connector
1 – 3.5-mm headphone jack
Camera 2.0 Megapixels
Location GPS
Audio In Microphone
Audio Out Speaker


Audio Formats AAC
Protected AAC
Audible (formats 1, 2, and 3)
Apple Lossless
Video Formats 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 768 Kbps, 320 by 240 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3 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


Original OS iPhone OS 2.0 / iOS 2.0
Maximum OS iOS 4.2.1
iTunes iTunes 7.7 or later
System Requirements Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later
Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate Edition or later
Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later


Battery 4.12 W Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity 1150 mAh
Battery Life Talk Time: Up to 5 hours on 3G / 10 hours on 2G
Standby: Up to 300 hours
Internet Use: Up to 5 hours on 3G / 6 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: Up to 7 hours
Audio playback: Up to 24 hours
Power Adapter Apple 5W or 12W USB Power Adapter

iPhone 3G Introduction Video

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Further Reading and References

  • iPhone 3G: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
  • Apple Introduces the New iPhone 3G – Apple Newsroom
  • iPhone 3G – Wikipedia
  • iPhone 3G – Apple History
  • Apple iPhone 3G review – TechRadar
  • iPhone 3G review – Engadget
  • Apple iPhone 3G Review – Trusted Reviews
  • Apple iPhone 3G review – CNET

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