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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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Ok this annoys me
By Setsunayaki on 11/8/2010 6:02:53 AM , Rating: 2
I remember when my old Mac OS X upgrades would have software compatibility problems. The solution was always "buy our new software version to fix your problem" from vendors and apple.

I am not surprised a manufacturer would sabotage their own product to force an upgrade. I mean look at what APPLE and MICROSOFT do to their customers..

The two take it upon themselves to bloat their own software (an Operating System IS Software), along with first and third party software developers do the very same...

They bloat their own software to sell a SLOWER PRODUCT with a new feature, while Tech Developers use that to HYPE and Inflate the price of upgrading. It happens every 2 years someone upgrades.

Think I am full of it? I will make three STRONG points before you shoot me down :)

1) Consoles: I do like playstation and SNES as well as PS2...etc, YEAH some have had more than 10 year life cycles. However what happens when a console game is phased out? IT takes forever to find that product and consoles except for PS2 arent backward once your console breaks when phased cant play your old games...until they are rereleased in some network or handheld. However consoles don't get BLOATED because a user can OWN a console for years and still find games for them.

2) Linux: I like Linux and I've owned laptops for many years along with desktops with Linux and some boxes have not seen upgrading in 5 - 10 years :) You can see some builds being bloated up, but you dont see them extremely slow down and there is always a choice. You can run linux software on single cores too. If I wanted to turn 1000 BMPs into JPG, I just go to the command line and in one command I can have it done.....vs the bloatedness of Apple and Microsoft OSes

3) What about older OS in the Windows and APple Chain? Its all the same. You start with one clean, pristine OS...and then over time it gets cluttered up and thanks to the programs it gets harder and harder to perform....

I hate the entire idea that you PAY FOR SOMETHING and then you PAY someone to take that performance from you through a software update that syphons money from you for some extra feature at cruel and unusual punishment.

Think of it like this...APPLE (with iPhone), Microsoft (with Windows Phone), along with Google and those Droid Phones...I mean ANY FIRST PARTY company can force you to "upgrade" AT-WILL and override your security since you are part of a NETWORK when you power a phone on...Due to this they can SABOTAGE your phone and all you will say is "Maybe I sat on it" or "maybe it just died" or something weird.

Do any of you find this to be fair?

Is it fair where the only two places we see this kind of BUTCHERY is in the TECH INDUSTRY and in ACADEMIA?

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