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Sensational lawsuit accuses Apple of turning iPhone 3G into "iBrick"

post #1 of 175
Thread Starter 
A class action lawsuit filed in California last week alleges Apple engaged in "unsavory, dishonest and deceptive business practices" by offering its iOS 4 update to iPhone 3G users, all the while knowing that it would render many of the devices unusable.

On Oct. 29, lawyers from Cohelan Khoury & Singer, a self-described "class action law firm," filed the suit in a San Diego County state court on behalf of lead plaintiff Bianca Wofford. The suit claims that Apple made "false statements" representing the iOS 4 upgrade as a "significant advance and triumph" in software for her iPhone 3G, but instead turned the handset into a "virtually useless 'iBrick.'"

The plaintiff alleges that the software update "rendered the iPhone 3G devices virtually unusable, constantly slowed, crashed or frozen." Apple's engineers are accused of waiting for "nearly 3 months" to fix the problem, despite being "acutely aware of the thousands of complaints lodged."

Wofford contends that Apple disallowed the downgrading of the iPhone 3G from iOS 4 back to iOS 3.x in an attempt to willfully manipulated consumers into purchasing the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4. According to the suit, the plaintiff's iPhone has gone from 99 percent reliability to "about 20 percent functionality" because of the iOS 4 upgrade.

According to Wired, the suit (PDF) requires judge approval to gain class action status.

In July, an Apple spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that the Cupertino, Calif., company was aware of the reports of degraded performance on the iPhone 3G with iOS 4 installed and was looking into the matter.

During Apple's Sept. 1 media event, Apple CEO Steve Jobs specifically mentioned the iPhone 3G "bug" as an issue that would be resolved in iOS 4.1. After the update was released, informal speed tests conducted on an iPhone running iOS 4.1 seemed to resolve some of the sluggishness that users were reporting. The iPhone 3G running iOS 4.1 "didn't get stuck nearly as much," the test noted.
post #2 of 175
at least, a way to go back to iOS3 shall be provided by Apple if allowing iPhone3G to go iOS4 knowing it'll "iBrick" it.
Good!
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post #3 of 175
This lawsuit just doesn't make any sense.

It would probably hold more water if apple DID NOT support iPhone 3G cause then users would totally have to upgrade to get a taste of iOS 4. Dunno if this is just a case of spoilt consumers or greedy lawyers, but either way apple bears the brunt.
post #4 of 175
The goofy thing is how does it hit or miss certain phones. iOS 4 did not adversely effect the iPhone 3G in this household.
post #5 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuperCheese View Post

iPhone 3G is two years ago...they can't expect apple to contiunue supporting it like the 3Gs and 4

No, not really, as Apple was still selling the 3G up until the 4 was released, which was only a couple of months before iOS 4 was released. So this was not an ancient phone in that regard.
post #6 of 175
I agree that iOS 4 was too slow for the iPhone 3G (I own one). I was actually quite disappointed with that since on the Mac, each OS release seems to get faster. But I guess there's a little more urgency in the mobile space and they have to roll out before they are optimized.

But 4.1 was a big improvement. And class action lawsuits are just BS so these guys should go jump.
post #7 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuperCheese View Post

iPhone 3G is two years ago...they can't expect apple to contiunue supporting it like the 3Gs and 4

Yes they can. I still believe in a lifespan of technology products longer than 2 years. And apple is a million dollar company. Don't tell me they don't have the resources. The argument is most likely true and valid.
post #8 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by weckbeckheck View Post

Yes they can. I still believe in a lifespan of technology products longer than 2 years. And apple is a million dollar company. Don't tell me they don't have the resources. The argument is most likely true and valid.

Meh 2 years is a long time in tech age, I mean look how long they supported power pc processors until snow leopard came out. If the want to stop support so be it. Move on and I believe there a "billion dollar mammoth" not a measly couple million bucks
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post #9 of 175
i think you will find apple is much more than a million dollar company these days
post #10 of 175
that's funny. what about other companies to support previous models? people complain about that just like Apple iphone? I don't think so. Apple has a big problem that they do products obsolete so faster so that they tell us to buy new one? bull shit. now, Apple is multi billions company. but who knows? it would be suddenly tumbling down, back to old days? Apple is not MS. they can't survive for a long time. I bet it. they should do more gentle for customers.
post #11 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardryu View Post

that's funny. what about other companies to support previous models? people complain about that just like Apple iphone? I don't think so. Apple has a big problem that they do products obsolete so faster so that they tell us to buy new one? bull shit. now, Apple is multi billions company. but who knows? it would be suddenly tumbling down, back to old days? Apple is not MS. they can't survive for a long time. I bet it. they should do more gentle for customers.

Then don't buy from them it's your choice not their's. No one is spending your money except you. Don't like having technology that constantly becomes obsolete? Get use to it or go back to the caves simple as that. Its a part of life.
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post #12 of 175
It is usually a bad idea to update to a x.0 version of any software on any platform. I usually wait for news of bugs or the early updates before installing. In the case of iOS4 and the iPhone 3G, Apple warned that many of the new features would not work on that model from the start. The case for upgrading wasn't really that compelling. When 4.1 came out, I did the upgrade and my 3G is fine.
I know of 3G users who upgraded rightaway, and they did experience a slight decrease in performance. That was quickly and easily solved by turning searchlight off.
At best, this lawsuit is opportunist, and I cannot see how they can prove the iPhone 3G was bricked by the upgrade.
post #13 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuperCheese View Post

iPhone 3G is two years ago...they can't expect apple to contiunue supporting it like the 3Gs and 4

So in two years time shall we just throw our iPads in the bin? Complete nonsense.

If Apple are selling iPhones at a considerable cost then they should be fit for purpose. In the UK you are covered by trading standard laws, I know, as I contacted them after my iPhone turned into an iBrick.
Apples answer? To give me a brand new iPhone 3G This was 18 months after I had my original 3G incidentally. So they admitted there was a problem, but their only solution was to supply me with another 3G which would develop the same issues if I upgraded. I even received a personal call from the manager of our local Apple store apologising about the problems.

Needless to say, I haven't installed the update and won't be.
post #14 of 175
I'll side AGAINST Apple on this one. They shouldn't have supported iOS 4 on the 3G to start with; it was unusable at best. I was using a 3G lent to me then, it sucked goat ballz. Maybe now it's smoother, but by Apple's standards it was unadmissible then.
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post #15 of 175
Is it true that you can't go back as do a full restore to factory settings on the 3G once 4.0 is installed?

IMO, the legitimacy of this lawsuit hinges on the claim that Apple does not allow an iOS downgrade. The 3G was still sold as new right up until the iPhone 4 came out just a few months ago, and most people are locked into 2-3 yr contracts, so they absolutely have a right to expect that hardware to still work as it did when new. If an 'upgrade' actually degrades performance, they have every right to expect to be able to go back.
post #16 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuperCheese View Post

iPhone 3G is two years ago...they can't expect apple to contiunue supporting it like the 3Gs and 4

It's months old, as the 3 was being sold right up till the release of the 4 (as many others posted) I TOO was CHUGGING the Apple Kool-Aid out of school, and was in the process of coming back (now as a 40 year old) when I purchased my iPhone 2 years ago.

But it was this engineered "catch 22" that Apple put into motion that really woke me up and made me realized the control their devices have (or attempt to have) over it's users. It's 2 years old, so what? I like it, and don't want to buy something new right now- so F*CK you, and F*UCK apple. F*UCK itunes and how many computers I can put my music on.

But now, I'm motivated, and guess what? I don't negotiate with terrorists either. So come November 21, when the shit service contract from AT&T expires on this now VERY shitty phone, I roll into the local Sprint office and buy a new Evo. Is it a better phone? I don't give a rip- but I'm not being held hostage by a F*cking electronic devices company.

And you know what else? The suit is legit, and sometime in 2017, I'll get a check in the mail for .17 cents.
post #17 of 175
To me, this lawsuit has more to do with people's shift towards impatience and unwillingness to relent on instant gratification.

The 3G (which I also own) is by no means unusable. Sure, it is not "snappy", but for every task it can control (which is everything other than data transfer over a 3G network), it works very well.

Hardware changes immensely over a two year period and people have to realize that. Newer technology will always run software faster than older technology.

If any operating system should have resulted in a class action lawsuit, it should have been Vista. The operating system itself requires like twice the ram of XP. The minimum system requirements for software are always higher if you are running Vista than XP or 7.
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post #18 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by David | Dahveed View Post

The goofy thing is how does it hit or miss certain phones. iOS 4 did not adversely effect the iPhone 3G in this household.

I had the same reaction to the story. Adding IOS 4 to my iPhone 3G actually sped it up a bit! Not a single problem. And it definitely wasn't a brick.
post #19 of 175
exaggeration is not an effective legal strategy.
post #20 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

Then don't buy from them it's your choice not their's. No one is spending your money except you. Don't like having technology that constantly becomes obsolete? Get use to it or go back to the caves simple as that. Its a part of life.

The complaint is not that the tech was "obsolete". The complaint is that Apple intentionally borked the phones.

Me, I think that they just screwed up. It is happening more and more often as they grow bigger and bigger.
post #21 of 175
Perhaps people with iPhone 3G's were affected by bad performance, but they were also the people who would have cried had iOS 4 not been supported at all on the 3G. How do you propose that Apple solve your problem?

They didn't add bugs into the device as it didn't crash on you. (something iOS is designed to do at a bug) It simply wasn't optimized - a process that takes time and effort, and I'm sure took quite a long time on a processor as slow as the 412MHz ARM processor in a 3G.

Apple didn't deliberately cause bad performance - it was a trade-off between the features users demanded, the hardware available to run it on, users' expectations that their device would be updated (no matter what the update actually realistically included) and the time Apple's developers had to implement it into the feature-set of iOS 4.

Did the performance of your 3G suffer? Yes, my 3G did the same too. But could Apple have done anything that would have stopped you grumbling? I doubt it.
post #22 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by invader75 View Post

Needless to say, I haven't installed the update and won't be.

You should have made them update it for yo at the store, and then tested it.
post #23 of 175
Sorry, in my opinion, if you don't like something, and it's under warranty, bring it back. If it's out of warranty, trash it, sell it, give it away whatever. Just don't purchase another one, or up-grade.

I'll agree with others here, and folks shouldn't jump on each up-grade that comes out. Hell if your product is working well enough, and you have been using it for a period of time, what is waiting a week or two going to hurt? In that period of time, you'll be able to watch and read rumors blogs and such, and see if the up-grade is worth it.

Should ever company only offer their products / up-grades when they are perfectly ready for the buying public to use and enjoy - you bet your ass they should! And they will, as soon as they are held accountable.

If Apple, MS, Ford, Toyota, RIM or any one sells a product and it's a pieces of crap, then it should be noted and folks should be informed. Then when said products doesn't sell, and said company losses their shirt (and share holders start hurting) - then you'll see companies being a bit more responsible.

Now is Apple doing this with malicious intent, I don't think so. Should they be held accountable, damn straight they should. Once it's proven that they did so with malicious intent, they should be made to pay, and pay in spades.

Hell, I still wondering if they should be held responsible for my battery separating on the MacBook Pro!

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post #24 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morons

"Waahh! I was forced to upgrade my software to 4.0 and now my phone doesn't run as well as it used to run, either because I have it full with less than a megabyte to spare or I didn't read the disclaimer stating that iOS 4 doesn't contain every feature on my two-year-old hardware!"

That's them. That's how dumb they sound.

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post #25 of 175
"Apple disallowed the downgrading of the iPhone 3G from iOS 4 back to iOS 3.x"

This is the key. Apple should lose this lawsuit because they do not allow owners to go back to a more stable OS when a bug is encountered. They either need to issue patches immediately, or let people revert to a functional OS. There is no logical excuse not to do so.

Also, there were iPhone 3G's sold literally weeks before the iOS 4 dibacle. Some of the 3G's were 2 years old, but Apple will not be well served to suggest they do not have to support a product after a few weeks of it being discontinued, when many of them were still under warranty.
post #26 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncee View Post

Now is Apple doing this with malicious intent, I don't think so. Should they be held accountable, damn straight they should. Once it's proven that they did so with malicious intent, they should be made to pay, and pay in spades.

Negligence does not require malicious intent. They either tested iOS 4 on an iPhone 3G and chose to release it despite the bugs (malicious) or they did not bother to adequately test it on the iPhone 3G but released a version that supported the hardware anyway (negligence). Again, they key to there being any real harm in either case is the ability, or lack thereof, for the customer to revert back to 3.1.x. While I think Apple is guilty either way, if they did intentionally release it with known bugs I would expect a much stiffer penalty. If it was purely negligence, a small compensation to 3G owners plus an agreement to allow owners to revert to the prior OS after future upgrades would be a reasonable and sufficient settlement.
post #27 of 175
I have to agree with the plaintiff, Apple should have had the option built into the iOS upgrade to roll back to a previous version, I had a 3G phone that was rendered useless by the update.
post #28 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by weckbeckheck View Post

And apple is a million dollar company.


multi-
million
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post #29 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

I have to agree with the plaintiff, Apple should have had the option built into the iOS upgrade to roll back to a previous version, I had a 3G phone that was rendered useless by the update.

No, you didn't. You're saying:

You couldn't upgrade to 4.0 (unresponsive device) so you could easily go back to 3.
You upgraded to 4.0 and are under the belief that the device in your hand that actually does work doesn't.
You didn't upgrade to 4.0.
You upgraded to 4.0, don't find it to be to your liking, and don't understand how to go back to 3.

Upgrading didn't make your phone useless.

Originally Posted by helia

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Originally Posted by helia

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post #30 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post

This lawsuit just doesn't make any sense.

It would probably hold more water if apple DID NOT support iPhone 3G cause then users would totally have to upgrade to get a taste of iOS 4. Dunno if this is just a case of spoilt consumers or greedy lawyers, but either way apple bears the brunt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

I'll side AGAINST Apple on this one. They shouldn't have supported iOS 4 on the 3G to start with; it was unusable at best. I was using a 3G lent to me then, it sucked goat ballz. Maybe now it's smoother, but by Apple's standards it was unadmissible then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Sure View Post

To me, this lawsuit has more to do with people's shift towards impatience and unwillingness to relent on instant gratification.

The 3G (which I also own) is by no means unusable. Sure, it is not "snappy", but for every task it can control (which is everything other than data transfer over a 3G network), it works very well.

Hardware changes immensely over a two year period and people have to realize that. Newer technology will always run software faster than older technology.

If any operating system should have resulted in a class action lawsuit, it should have been Vista. The operating system itself requires like twice the ram of XP. The minimum system requirements for software are always higher if you are running Vista than XP or 7.


I usually take these kinds of suits with a grain of salt. I tend to side with Apple on most of them. People seem to sue Apple anytime their product is not 100% perfect 100% of the time.

That said, I think this one has some merit. I think there is a case to be made that Apple knew iOS 4 was going to cause problems for many 3G users...but they released it and recommended the upgrade anyway. Makes sense from their perspective...most of these folks are eligible for an upgrade anyway, so let's just make them/encourage them to buy new phones.

Not sure how one goes about proving this, but yeah...I think there's something to this one.
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post #31 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuperCheese View Post

iPhone 3G is two years ago...they can't expect apple to contiunue supporting it like the 3Gs and 4

Wrong they should support it! Is your car more than 2 years old? Do you think it should be supported? Or should the auto manufacturer say you should upgrade to an newer model?
I don't really agree with the lawsuit but c'mon...Apple should support their products....2 years is NOT a long time.....

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post #32 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by popawheelie View Post

But it was this engineered "catch 22" that Apple put into motion that really woke me up and made me realized the control their devices have (or attempt to have) over it's users. It's 2 years old, so what? I like it, and don't want to buy something new right now- so F*CK you, and F*UCK apple. F*UCK itunes and how many computers I can put my music on.

But now, I'm motivated, and guess what? I don't negotiate with terrorists either. So come November 21, when the shit service contract from AT&T expires on this now VERY shitty phone, I roll into the local Sprint office and buy a new Evo. Is it a better phone? I don't give a rip- but I'm not being held hostage by a F*cking electronic devices company.

Holy crap, man, you are angry.
Apple probably didn't design iOS4 to slow down old old phones, but they probably didn't work *that* hard to avoid it. But keep in mind, people, that the iPhone 3G has a quarter of the RAM that the iPhone 4 has, and *will* act as such, even with a lot of optimizing. It's like trying to upgrade any old computer to a new OS, except phones have a far shorter life cycle than computers. But guess what? If you're going to join an Apple-related forum to write some rage-fueled post about how much you hate Apple, then when you move to the Evo, we won't miss you.

Word of advice before you go, though; if you're going to swear, inserting an asterisk in the middle of a word doesn't do a fucking thing. (see how I did that?) If you're afraid of offending someone, that is not the way to avoid it.
And by the way, as iTunes now has DRM-free music, you can indeed put your music on any computer that you want.
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post #33 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

"Apple disallowed the downgrading of the iPhone 3G from iOS 4 back to iOS 3.x"

This is the key. Apple should lose this lawsuit because they do not allow owners to go back to a more stable OS when a bug is encountered. They either need to issue patches immediately, or let people revert to a functional OS. There is no logical excuse not to do so.

Also, there were iPhone 3G's sold literally weeks before the iOS 4 dibacle. Some of the 3G's were 2 years old, but Apple will not be well served to suggest they do not have to support a product after a few weeks of it being discontinued, when many of them were still under warranty.

#1 - it may be that it's technically not possible to downgrade and retain all user data that has been migrated to the newer versions of the various apps.

#2 - how can they "issue patches immediately"? They instead have to write and test the changes to address the issues, which is what iOS 4.1 did.

Finally, it's kind of bizarre that a class action lawsuit would be filed now when the issues have already been addressed.
post #34 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


multi-
million

Multi-billion.
post #35 of 175
when you install a new (major) version of a program or OS, doesnt Apple make you agree to not sue them for performance issues when you agree to the EULA? There are like 20 pages of fine print on those things. I would be shocked if that kind of thing wasnt in there.
post #36 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuperCheese View Post

iPhone 3G is two years ago...they can't expect apple to contiunue supporting it like the 3Gs and 4

I agree, but apple shouldn't have allowed the upgrade path to 4.0 which effectively bricked my 3G. I downgraded back to 3.2 and was fine, but I am a developer and had access to the firmware. When I was testing apps on the 3G device I knew it was trouble and even filed bug reports with apple. The 3G can't multi-task anyway, the only reason to do it was the new folders feature which is nice, but not worth the dramatic decrease in performance. I hear 4.1 fixed many issues, but have not bothered to test yet. I will test 4.2 when it comes out.
post #37 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

exaggeration is not an effective legal strategy.



I'm not all that law-knowledgeable, but I do know that a lot of legal strategy is based on 'persuasion'. Exaggeration is part of that -- to sway a judge or jury's emotions.
post #38 of 175
Oh by the way boys this has nothing to do with the age of the 3G. Apple advised that 4.0 was suitable for the 3G when clearly it wasn't. This is not debatable. Second they waited far to long to correct the problem.

This is certainly something that a consummer would stand up and protest against. Just imagine if your two year old car ended up in the shop for three months waiting for a bug fix from GM.

I'm actually surprised at all the spinless people here trying to defend Apple. How many of you would have accepted Mac OS / X going to hell after an update. We are talking to the point of barely being a usable Mac. Waiting on a show of hands................ Thought so, everyone here should expect the same quality experience from iOS as they expect from Mac OS/X. As someone else has pointed out Mac OS gets faster and more reliable with each new release. The exact opposite seems to be the case with iOS.
post #39 of 175
I was one of the many who ran home and upgraded their iPhone 3G to 4.0 the moment it came out. To my dismay, the 3G slowed down considerably. Most apps would lag noticeably while a few were still usable. However, a quick Google search a week or two later and I found a very easy roll-back procedure that worked like a charm. Sure, I had to re-load everything from scratch because (like an idiot) I backed up the phone one more time before rolling it back to 3.1 but before long, my 3G was back to 3.1.3 and working just like it used to.

Like others have stated, simply waiting a few days and then checking out the forums and blog sites would have alerted them to the issue with 4.0. I still haven't upgraded my wife's 3G (she wasn't eligible for a iPhone 4 yet) and probably won't as I'll be getting her an iPhone 4 in February anyway.

The one thing Apple definitely should have done though, is provided an official way to roll back slow and buggy 3G iPhones to the previous version. But then, people wouldn't be happy sitting at 3.1.3 or whatever and just complain about why they can't upgrade to 4.0 and later. You can't make 100% of the people happy 100% of time.
post #40 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by markb View Post

when you install a new (major) version of a program or OS, doesnt Apple make you agree to not sue them for performance issues when you agree to the EULA? There are like 20 pages of fine print on those things. I would be shocked if that kind of thing wasnt in there.

I would be shocked if this kind of thing was in there and the lawyers in that class-action suit decided to proceed anyway. Damn bloodsuckers.
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