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  (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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RE: Don't repeal the best tax
By cmdrdredd on 11/6/2010 6:27:10 PM , Rating: 3
If I buy an iPhone and the thing craps out on me (for whatever reason: upgrade, hardware, etc.) and I turn around and buy a new one to fix it??? That is the stupid tax in effect.

Quite frankly you didn't read the article at all. It says that if you have an older 3G or 3Gs iPhone and still use it because it works and then see "oh iTunes tells me there's a new OS update. Apple says it has new features! I'm going to install it." and after installing it the performance of the device is cut in half and it crashes and generally doesn't function as it did prior to the update. Apple says it's supported on your device but their advice is to buy the new iPhone model. That would be like Sony or Microsoft releasing an OS update for their game console, but after install the games run at 15fps and are unplayable. Then they suggest buying a newer model system to fix the issue even when the documentation says it's compatable across the product line.

It has nothing to do with people buying a new iPhone to fix a broken old one as you suggest. The phone works, but it does NOT work correctly with the new update and the claim is that Apple did it on purpose.

RE: Don't repeal the best tax
By The Raven on 11/8/2010 12:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
and renders many of them virtually useless 'iBricks'

I didn't read the article AT ALL? Then what the hell is that?
Let me make an outlandish claim that YOU "obviously didn't read the article AT ALL."

Yeah, let me comment on something that I didn't read. That makes sense.

Let's just put this all aside and say that the update is breaking the functionality of the phones to various extents. I stand by my comment that you should not do what you said, and listen to the company who gave me the crappy device/crapped out my device and follow their advice when they tell me to buy a new one.
It has nothing to do with people buying a new iPhone to fix a broken old one as you suggest.

I didn't say that they said "buying a new phone will fix the old one". It was that "buying a new phone will fix their problem of not having a crappy phone".
You obviously didn't read my comment!!! ;-)

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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