When Apple launched iOS 4, the company took a sort of tiered approach. If you had an iPhone 4, it shipped with the new operating system and all its new features. If you had an iPhone 3GS or third generation iPod touch, you could install an update to get all the nifty new features. If you had a first generation iPhone or iPod touch, you were out of luck. No update for you.

Then there was the middle ground: iPhone 3G and second generation iPod touch users. We got to install iOS, but we didn’t get all the features. This crippled version doesn’t let you multitask or install custom wallpapers, among other things. Apple officials said that’s because these earlier devices simply don’t have the processor power to handle those features. That seems fair.

What doesn’t seem fair is the fact that these devices also don’t seem to have the processor power to handle other elements of iOS 4. Users have been reporting since day one that installing iOS 4 on an iPhone 3G or second generation iPod touch causes the device to slow down considerably. It takes longer to launch apps, switch between apps, or adjust settings.

Apparently Apple is aware of the issue, and according to an email Apple CEO Steve Jobs sent to a customer, a software update is on the way that could address the problem. Smart money is that he’s referring to iOS 4.1. Unfortunately there’s still no word on when it will be available or how much it will help. Jobs was also specifically referring to performance on the iPhone 3G. He didn’t mention the iPod touch at all, but I’m holding out hope that the update will improve performance on that model as well.

Of course, since iOS 4 doesn’t actually offer a whole lot of new features to iPhone 3 and iPod touch 2g users, you can also simply downgrade from ioS 4 to iPhone OS 3.1.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...