Why iPhone 3G owners can’t change their iPhone background with iOS 4

Mon, Jun 21, 2010


If you own an iPhone 3G and happened to update to iOS 4 earlier today, you were probably already aware that you wouldn’t have access to all of the OS’s new features, such as multitasking. What you probably weren’t aware of, however, was that you also wouldn’t be able to change the iPhone background to something other than the standard black backdrop that has shipped with every iPhone to date.

So what gives?

Well, why rummage around Apple support forums for answers when you can ask Apple’s CEO instead.

And that’s exactly what Gizmodo reader Erica did earlier this afternoon.

Her email reads:

Hey Steve! I just upgraded my iPhone 3G to iOS 4 and was really looking forward to setting a background on my home screen. Guess that’s not happening, but I’d like to know why.

See, I get why you don’t include multitasking. My iPhone gets pretty hot when certain apps run, couldn’t imagine how multitasking would fry my phone.

But the background thing, I don’t see how that would be memory intensive and/or battery draining. It doesn’t seem like that feature needs to be exclusive to the 3GS and 4G.

I hope this email finds you in good health.


Jobs’ reply:

The icon animation with backgrounds didn’t perform well enough.

I guess the iPhone 3G, which was king of the hill just 2 short years ago, just isn’t man enough to handle everything that iOS 4 brings to the table.



18 Comments For This Post

  1. Tom Says:

    It’s true, jailbreakers have noted that while it is possible to activate, the effect produces more lag than expected- most that I have heard from have turned backgrounds off after trying it because of this.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Damn thats annoying! i was planning on jailbreaking my iPhone untill i heard of this update so i waited. And now the main reason i wanted the update is unable to work on my phone. damn thats annoying, stupid apple perople!

  3. Joseph Says:

    On the apple website, at first, the pictures of the iPhoen 3G, 3Gs, and 4G had the blue bubble background, i was really looking forward to changing the background. Until i updated it and it gave me crap and it was juz the plain stupid black backdrop, so they want us to buy a 3GS or 4G. Stupid apple…

  4. Ravi Says:

    How else will they get us to pay for breathing? You buy a product but its not really your 😀

  5. yo Says:

    wtf me to fuck apple

  6. chineka Says:

    my sister has the 3GS so i saw when she did the update and then when i trieed it i only updated itfor that backround and i could not do thaaaat :(( i hope theres another uodate that is better and only for the 3G HAHAHAHAHAHA

  7. ryan Says:

    its such BS! i no its a buisness but dont you want your customers to be happy???

  8. Phil Says:

    What is the matter with you people!? How many upgrades is apple supposed to give you? Samsung owners, how are your upgrades? Oh, no upgrades? HTC owners, your upgrades? Oh zero? What a shame. My 3G is great, if I want more I’ll get a 4. Apple has been great, let’s not get greedy people!

  9. Jane Regular Says:

    It’s wallpaper…..your going to f-bomb apple over wether your dog is staring at you from behind your ap icons?? I wish I had the kind of life where the most angry or sad I got was over the background color of my iPhone….geesh!


  10. SARAH WILCOX Says:

    Hi guys, if you jailbreak your phone it now includes the options of having multitasking and homescreen wallpaper. So you can now have an iphone 3G with all the same features as the 3GS/4 with the new 4.0 firmware.


  11. Dissapointed Says:

    I was pretty dissapointed to find that I couldn’t change the home background of my 3g phone. That’s the only reason I updated it in the first place. Lost all my apps for nothing!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    BS apple

  13. Confused Says:

    All my friends have the 3G and it changed the background for them but mine doesn’t let me change mine. WHAT GIVES?

  14. Trickster Says:

    Curious, do your fiends have a 3G or a 3G S? The 3G S will change, but every 3G I know of does not.

  15. jaz Says:

    aww…I spent all day updating and backing up my 3G because I was really excited for this update. anyone know anything about the iPhone switch to verizon? I’m gonna wait for that, then get the iPhone 4. -jaz out

  16. Matt Says:

    I love my 3G iPhone. I love all my Apple products and I was tickled pink when they finally updated the software to send MMS messages. I had my phone “Jainbroke” prior to getting rid of it because the phone went to slow and I was sick of ending Apps to make it go faster. With the new update, I see my phone running as slow as it was prior to this update and I’m unimpressed. I should have just kept it “Jailbreak” but oh well.. It’s just a phone with convenience.

    If you own other Apple products like a MacBook or whatnot.. I have no problems with it and it’s fallen on concrete, the floor, etc. and still purrs like a kitten! So, stop hating on Apple and go buy a 4 if you concerned about a background, LMAO!

  17. JoeyL Says:

    apple really? even when i updated my iphone it said that it would include multitasking which was the reason i did the update… and the background change

  18. no7 Says:

    I updated my 3g to that 4.0 and it let me change my wallpaper. after that i did jailbreak and my phone went being slow to really slow. after a while i decided to take the jailbreaking off and updated my phone again and now I can’t change my wallpaper. what the hell apple? I don’t care about the wallpaper thing but still. Why did it let me change it in the first place but not after doing the update again…. anyone with similar problems?

eXTReMe Tracker