iPhone 3GS

Revamped version of the iPhone 3G with faster processing speeds. Repair of this device is similar to the 3G, and requires simple screwdrivers and prying tools. Model A1303 / 16 or 32 GB capacity / black or white plastic back.

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No Wifi, No Carrier, only powers on w. plugged in, reboots constantly

The issue began like this: this iphone 3gs 16 gb black with IOS 4.1 was working like a charm until one day it was running low on battery (10%) and I plugged in to the wall for charge.

The next day the phone was turn off. After turning it on (taking longer than usual), the battery icon was full charged. There is no carrier, the wi-fi and bluetooth was grayed out, and there is no sound at all, no even when playing a song in the ipod. It remains like this for like 2 minutes, and continue rebooting itself.

All of this happens with the phone connected to wall. When i unplug it, immediately turns off, and doesn't power on unless i connect it again.

If the phone is connected to the PC doesn't get to the main screen, starting to reboot again and again.

If its plugged to the PC and gets on DFU, the PC detects it but Itunes can't restore it (since during the process the phone shutdown and reboots). I can take it out of DFU with tinyumbrella.

I tried replacing the battery for a new one with no success, the symptoms remains the same.

I know of other guy who had the same issue the same day (on Feb 2012). That guy took his iPhone to other technician but didn't have a answer for this. I find that other guy had this same issue and posted a question on other forum but didn't receive any feedback there.

If anyone has any comments on such a weird problem I'll really appreciate that. Also this may be a warning to anyone thinking on getting a used phone like this one. I'm at the point that the last thing I can do is sale this phone as parts.

Thanks in advance!

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Thanks for your responses. I tried one more thing just for curiosity, i removed the battery, reassembled it again and the symptoms remains the same. Did anyone tried removing the battery and turn it on again? Because my strongest feeling is that the motherboard is somehow damaged and if someone didn't experience this kind of behavior when removing the battery this may clearly indicate a problem in some other area like the MB.

by IphUser

You did" remove the battery and turned it on" by plugging it in a USB port or AC adapter?

by oldturkey03

I plugged it to the AC adapter, and it worked with the same symptoms as before. I didn't try with the USB, i'll do that later today. Maybe it will stay on if it is DFU (since it should consume less power i think). By the way the USB cable is in great shape, and I also cleaned the iphone dock just to be sure, it was ok anyway.

by IphUser

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IphUser, all that you describe seems to point to one thing. The battery. I would go ahead and definitely replace it again, this time with a quality battery from a reliable vendor. Also, make sure that you have the right battery, remember that they are not interchangeable with the 3G. It will shut down when plugged into your computer because the battery does not hold a charge. The USB port only supplies 500maH which is not enough to maintain the iPhone, and of course you can not sync or restore it on an AC adapter. At this point you really have nothing to lose but a lot to gain by at least giving it another try. Also, make sure that your USB cable is working properly and that your dock connector is clean, free of debris, and does not have any bend broken or corroded pins. Here is the guide and the battery is available here. Hope this helps, good luck.

Mentioned Items

iPhone 3GS Battery Image


iPhone 3GS Battery Replacement

by Ben Eisenman Difficulty: Moderate20 - 30 minutes

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also the problem may be the dock connector.. you say you have no sound. If the dock is broken you can't charge the phone, PC supply is pretty low and not enough to boot fully which may be why it keeps rebooting on PC. It's tricky to say which the problem is..bad battery or dock. Or both!

by pollytintop

I had a same problem with 16gb black iPhone 3gs. i changed 2 battery from the market and checked with the new 3gs 8gb battery also but still same problem facing. i checked the motherboard is like a new nothing happen not any damage to board. i do not how this came . tomorrow i will reheat the baseband ic may be this help otherwise i do not have a any possibility it will work.


@SIMRAN thanks for sharing your problem The other guy that I know that has the same problem, commented that the phone was hot when he unplugged it from the AC charger. After this he started the experience this problem. Excessive temperature may be an important factor in his case, and maybe it could be fixed with a reflow of the MB, so that might be a good idea. In my case I'm not so sure excessive heat happen, but who knows.. I will appreciate SIMRAN if you comment after you try reflowing the MB.

by IphUser

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I have exactly the same problem with a Iphone 4S that runs on IOS 7.0.4

i have already tried everything, now i am about to heat up the battery connector on the motherboard, i hope that will help. If not i am gonna sell it and buy a brand new one.

there is one thing, i did put my phone away for like a day, then i rebooted it and its worked for 1 or 1 and a half hours and then it turned off again.

So like everyone else it isn't the battery, the battery works fine on other Iphone 4S'

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Hi everybody. I have the same exactly issue happening with my 3GS. It was everything ok with it but i stopped using it for like 1 month and now it is behaving like the problem described here in this thread. Has anyone found anything to solve that? Thanks

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same problem with my iphone 4.

i dnt know what to do.

last time i charged my phone it was freakin hot & then when it power off it power on saying 100% battery & saying connect to itunes for activation & if i unplug it , it shuts down. pls tell me what to do ??????

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Hello Jaspreet singh,

Like many of us the problem isn't the battery.

But if your phone is getting really hot, you should try to replace the battery.

Maybe it has a thump on it and then you are sure that is the problem.

Anyway just try replaceing the battery, there are enough videos on youtube showing how to do it.


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Yes, I have a iPhone 3GS, 16GB, with the same issues. That is will only stay on if you do not touch it, but if you use it, it shuts off. It Only comes back on and stays on when plugged. I have taken it to the Apple Store. The genius bar tech stated that it looks like it has never been tampered with. Suggested to give a little credit for it because it is not yet vintage. I have taken it to Tech&Soup to repair. They have replaced the battery and motherboard with brand new ones to find out that these replacements where useless. I have also tried keeping the iPhone plugged for 14 hours straight. This did not help.

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IphUser will be eternally grateful.

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