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I've recently inherited an old iPhone 3GS. The phone is still running iOS 4.3.5 stock. It has never been jailbroken.

I'm pretty new to the whole Apple/iOS jailbreaking stuff and have been reading up on SHSH blobs, and which phones have old bootroms, etc. and am a little confused by the whole affair. In a nutshell, right now, I have two questions.

1 - If the phone has never been broken, can it be upgraded to something other than 6.1.3? Can I download a version of iOS 5.x for example and upgrade to that?

2 - From experience, what is the best iOS to run on the 3GS? From what I hear, 6.x is kind of slow on the 3GS. I don't know about 5.x. Is there a "best" version for the 3GS that is recommended? If so, is there a way to upgrade to that specific version?



asked 02 Jun '13, 23:03

benze's gravatar image


This varies on your exact device and intentions..

But generally speaking, the latest iOS version offered by Apple will have the newest features, bug fixes, and security patches.

If you are hoping to jailbreak, you will want the latest jailbreakable version of iOS offered for your device.

So for no jailbreak with an iPhone 3GS, you'll want iOS 6.1.3.

If jailbreak is desired, you'll want iOS 6.1.3 for old bootrom or iOS 6.1.2 for new bootrom.

Hope that clarifies the options for you. Best wishes and good luck!


answered 02 Jun '13, 23:04

JuergenWest's gravatar image

JuergenWest ♦

edited 02 Jun '13, 23:08

Actually - no. Am even more confused now. I though 6.1.3 was not jailbroken yet. in which case, I don't understand "If jailbreak is desired, you'll want iOS 6.1.3"...

Secondly, I don't understand if/how to upgrade to iOS 6.1.2 - if it is even feasible.

(02 Jun '13, 23:10) benze benze's gravatar image

3gs can be jailbroken on 6.1.3 (tethered), you can update to 6.1.2 or others if you have shsh blobs. if it was never jailbroken, shsh blobs wont be there. No blobs no way

(02 Jun '13, 23:15) theiphoneguy ♦ theiphoneguy's gravatar image

Am looking for an untethered iOS version. So what I understand is that my only choice is sticking with my current stock 4.3.5 or upgrading to stock 6.1.3, but no chance I can get an untethered JB OS on this phone?

(02 Jun '13, 23:28) benze benze's gravatar image

Is your device new or old bootrom? 359.3 = old, 359.3.2 = new

(03 Jun '13, 00:00) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

Without SHSH blobs, if it's got the old bootrom then it can be jailbreaked with almost any iOS version (since 3.1.3 at least) whereas if it's got new bootrom then the choice is presently iOS 4.1 untethered or 6.1.3 tethered.

Regarding old or new bootrom, please provide the first 5 characters of its Serial Number.


answered 02 Jun '13, 23:20

IgetITeh's gravatar image


S/N: 87942xxxxxxxxx

(02 Jun '13, 23:25) benze benze's gravatar image

thats on the cutoff, get redsn0w 15b3, open it with the phone plugged in. At the bottom it should say "3GS (ios version here), (NEW BR/OLD BR here), tell us what it says

(02 Jun '13, 23:28) theiphoneguy ♦ theiphoneguy's gravatar image

In case it's of assistance too, here's a recent quote from markhack:


another easy way to check if a 3gs is an old or new boot rom is use this program on windows that ih8sn0w made and follow the steps shown.


(02 Jun '13, 23:34) IgetITeh IgetITeh's gravatar image

(4.3.5 05.16.02)

(02 Jun '13, 23:44) benze benze's gravatar image

thats the ios and baseband, we are looking for bootrom. bootrom would be 352.3 (old boot) or 352.3.2 (new bootrom)

(02 Jun '13, 23:46) theiphoneguy ♦ theiphoneguy's gravatar image

4.1 is too old for any practical use. What is it you require a jailbreak for, then we may be able to more specifically offer a practical solution for you.

(03 Jun '13, 00:01) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

Apparently, I'm not doing something right. Thats all that shows up on the startup page of redsn0w 0.9.15b3. It says "Connected: My iPhone (4.3.5, 05.16.02)". I checked the device info (Extras->Even more->Identify), but don't see anything that has 352 or 359 in the character sequence anywhere.

(03 Jun '13, 00:07) benze benze's gravatar image

@benze Are you using a MAC?

(03 Jun '13, 00:30) IgetITeh IgetITeh's gravatar image

Following instructions at, I've come to determine I've got 359.3.2 on the phone. So I guess the new bootrom.

(03 Jun '13, 00:33) benze benze's gravatar image

@IgetITeh - yes. I'm on a Mac

(03 Jun '13, 00:33) benze benze's gravatar image

@benze That explains why the windows utility wasn't of assistance then, and re: 359.3.2 (new bootrom) the answers to the original question's specifics are consequently:

1 - No (and no);

2 - Typically it's whichever of the available choices is the best fit for its primary usage (and no, so no).

(03 Jun '13, 01:07) IgetITeh IgetITeh's gravatar image

enter your iPhone in DFU mode and open redsnow. it will show at the bottom NEW BR or OLD BR.

(03 Jun '13, 03:04) marry4959 marry4959's gravatar image

@IgetITeh - thanks for the answers. I guess the last remaining question then is if I can jailbreak 4.3.5 that I am currently on, or if the only way to jailbreak something is to JB the current OS supported by Apple?

(03 Jun '13, 10:57) benze benze's gravatar image

@JuergenWest - I'd like to repurpose the phone to be used primarily in the car. I have found some nice JB apps which retask the volume buttons to be track changers, etc. Additionally, I have seen some JB apps which provide profiles/etc, things that aren't currently on the phone. If I could JB 4.3.5 I might be able to apply them. Otherwise, I guess I'm doomed to wait for 6.1.3 to be JB (if it ever is).

(03 Jun '13, 10:59) benze benze's gravatar image

4.3.5 is tethered also, so you may as well go to 6.1.3.

(03 Jun '13, 11:07) spockers ♦♦ spockers's gravatar image

If the device is always plugged in, eg the car, tethered may not be that bad. Have you determined if the iPhone is new or old bootrom yet?

(03 Jun '13, 18:18) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

@benze Good point; because stock 4.3.5 is on the device that's another option (tethered re: new bootrom).

(04 Jun '13, 09:13) IgetITeh IgetITeh's gravatar image

@JuergenWest - yes - it is the new bootrom. I'm not too thrilled about the concept of using a tethered JB. I'm always concerned about losing the boot ability without having my PC around. Esp with this phone too that has a weak battery. I guess at this point will wait to see if an untethered JB is ever released.

(04 Jun '13, 13:21) benze benze's gravatar image

If you do not want to deal with tethered jailbreak, your options are no jailbreak at 6.1.3, a very good iOS on it's own. Or to check which SHSH blobs you have available for iOS 5.x or 6.x.

(04 Jun '13, 18:06) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

@JuergenWest - I'm a little confused. How could there already by SHSH blobs for iOS 5 or 6 available if I have never JB the phone before? Arent the blobs phone specific?

(05 Jun '13, 09:31) benze benze's gravatar image

Blobs are device specific, but anyone, including a friend, or former owner of the device may have saved them if applicable. Saving blobs does not require a device to be jailbroken. One can only hope and it never hurts to check. We have seen brand new (refurbished) iPhones from the Apple Store with full sets of blobs already saved.

(05 Jun '13, 12:37) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

Based on my experience the best firmware for 3gs is the 5.1.1 because it is faster and less memory intensive than ios6+. I tried it both and I chose to go back to 5.1.1 due to performance/speed issues on ios6. It seems that 3gs has trouble or at least hard time running ios6 because somehow it runs many processes on the background, you can observe this by installing the batterydoctorpro (from Cydia) and see the remaining free memory (RAM) in it, which shows ios6 consumes more even no apps is open. This is just my personal opinion based on my observation. :)


answered 05 Feb '14, 00:38

malakas_me's gravatar image


As 6.1.3 can now be jailbroken untethered, this is the most desirable iOS version for the 3GS. You will still have most app support and the 3GS performs quite will at iOS 6.1.3. iOS 6.1.3 is the final release for the now retired iPhone 3GS. Best wishes!

(05 Feb '14, 03:33) JuergenWest ♦ JuergenWest's gravatar image

6.1.6 is the final formware for 3gs and is untethered the same :D

(08 Jan '16, 14:46) leart78 leart78's gravatar image

@leart This was solved already. TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO. Don't resurrect old threads, especially to say something useless.

(10 Jan '16, 03:05) spockers ♦♦ spockers's gravatar image

@spockers why should I ask a permission to write something, even useless and just for fun.. ?? huh


answered 23 May '16, 12:58

leart78's gravatar image


edited 18 Jun '16, 15:17

theiphoneguy's gravatar image

theiphoneguy ♦


Because the topic is answered and dead.......that's why!

(23 May '16, 17:24) xamas xamas's gravatar image

yeah, and why you people are here?

(06 Aug '17, 07:19) leart78 leart78's gravatar image

took you almost 1.5 years to come up with that?

(06 Aug '17, 15:17) theiphoneguy ♦ theiphoneguy's gravatar image

There IS a reason after all that he has negative karma, lol.

(09 Aug '17, 09:38) xamas xamas's gravatar image
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Asked: 02 Jun '13, 23:03

Seen: 34,793 times

Last updated: 09 Aug '17, 09:38

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