Apple Accused of Sabotaging Users' iPhones to Boost Sales
November 5, 2010 10:30 AM
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(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
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.
he 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
, 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
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
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).
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Don't repeal the best tax
11/5/2010 2:27:42 PM
While there might have been different "lot" numbers, the overall specs are the same between different phones of the same model. This means that except for cases of a DEFECTIVE part that only affects certain units, the update would have an identical impact on all phones of the same model.
Software problems with individual downloaded applications are a different issue, but in this case, you have a new OS version which is PUSHED by the manufacturer causing a degradation in performance with no way of backing out of the OS upgrade.
This situation would be like a car company issuing a recall notice on your car that has a net effect of reducing horsepower by over ten percent and then refusing to do anything about it. If a manufacturer says "this is a good thing for your device/product", the vast majority will not question it. It would be unusual for a customer to second-guess the manufacturer about a "free" update.
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
UPDATE: Apple Studying Reports of iOS 4 Slowing Down iPhone 3G Smartphones
July 29, 2010, 9:48 AM
Apple, AT&T Sued for iBricking, Monopolistic Behavior
October 11, 2007, 9:23 AM
Apple Strikes Back With Update
September 28, 2007, 1:22 PM
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