Print 67 comment(s) - last by Brockway.. on Nov 12 at 9:17 AM

  (Source: Projectionist)

  (Source: Limited Edition)
Did Apple trick customers to force upgrades?

Apple received national criticism in 2007 when it "bricked" unlocked iPhones via an OS update, rendering the phones useless.  That move led to multiple lawsuits and a firestorm of negative publicity.

Now Apple has been accused of a different kind of bricking.  According to a suit filed in Superior Court in San Diego this time around Apple used an OS update not to render useless just unlocked iPhones, but locked and unlocked models alike in a bid to force users of older iPhone models to upgrade.

The suit stems from the fact that the iOS 4 upgrade leaves the iPhone 3G unresponsive and hard to use.  Despite the fact that this phenomena appears almost universal, Apple urged unwitting iPhone 3G users to upgrade to the new operating system.

States the complaint, "The true fact of the matter, as verifiable by information technology experts, is that the iOS 4 is a substantial 'downgrade' for earlier iPhone devices and renders many of them virtually useless 'iBricks'.  Nonetheless, in reasonable and detrimental reliance upon Apple's false representations, false statements and false claims of full compatibility, thousands upon thousands of iPhone 3 users were intentionally misled into installing iOS 4 on their devices."

The suit notes that Apple provides users with no means to perform a re-install of an earlier operating system version.  Apple's promotion of iOS 4 to iPhone 3G users when it likely knew that it would render their phones useless and that they would be unable to restore their phones, was likely a scheme to force users of older models to upgrade.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiff Bianca Wofford, a iPhone 3G owner and is seeking class action status.  Ms. Wofford recalls that after installing iOS 4, as suggested by iTunes, that her iPhone 3G's performance greatly suffered.  She states, "While not completely disabled, the operability of the device was significantly degraded and the device was no longer reliable."

DailyTech reported on this issue with older iPhones back when iOS 4 launched.  iPhone 3GS models also reportedly suffered a performance hit, though not as big a one.  Apple's forums are filled with a deluge of complaints about the poor performance of iOS 4 on older model phones.

Ms. Wofford is seeking for Apple to reimburse every plaintiff in the class the cost of their phone, plus $5,000 in additional damages.

Apple would not comment to us on this lawsuit, and their standard policy is not to comment on lawsuits (which they've had more than a few of).

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Fixed With iOS 4.1
By ltcommanderdata on 11/5/2010 11:34:02 AM , Rating: 2
While there were performance issues with iOS 4.0 for the iPhone 3G, Anandtech's review for iOS 4.1 showed that they've largely been fixed with iOS 4.1 along with a faster Javascript engine. As such, is this lawsuit even relevant anymore? Afterall, if people can file class action lawsuits for slowdowns experienced by software in the period of time between when the new version is released and a software update to fix it is available, we'll be inundated with these "timely" lawsuits.

RE: Fixed With iOS 4.1
By vectorm12 on 11/5/2010 11:48:22 AM , Rating: 2
I think the main gripe is the fact that most users would rather stick with 3.x after installing 4.x on their device.

I for one was stupid enough to install the Samsung Galaxy S "update 1"(in an effort to resolve the mail/GPS issues) before finding out it would make my phone close to useless due to frekvent crashes/reboots. Unfortunately like Apple Samsung offers no official way of downgrading once you've updated.

Now I'm rushing to install 2.2 in hopes it'll atleast make my phone dependable again...

RE: Fixed With iOS 4.1
By Brockway on 11/12/2010 9:17:06 AM , Rating: 2
You can use odin to reflash your phone (assuming its a Samsung Vibrant) back to original firmware.

If its not the Vibrant model of the S, it won't work, but there are guides out there for the other models if you google.

Also, wtf is up with Raven? You really think Apple should get away with that crap? A stupid tax is one thing, but a company forcing product obsolescence through firmware updates? You really want to encourage that?

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