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).
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RE: Don't repeal the best tax
11/9/2010 8:54:21 AM
If people upgrade it's their own fault.
This is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever read... If a company provides a software update for their product, it is not the user's responsibility to insure the quality of said update.
If Apple is trapping users into a situation where they lose functionality of their current devices (i.e. providing an update and no way to roll back), I hope this lawsuit does succeed. Not because I own any Apple products (I don't), and not because I hate Apple (I like most of their products, just not the prices :-P), but because of the irresponsible control this would give corporations over consumers.
All of us have at least ten's of electronic devices in our lives, some of us have hundreds. None of us has the time to insure that "upgrades" don't degrade our current usage.
The ONLY time a corporation should be allowed to lobotomize the functionality of a device is when there are legal concerns involved. When a corporation releases an "upgrade" that degrades a previous product line's performance directly after a new version is released is extremely suspicious and deserves investigation.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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