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Judge tosses "iBrick" lawsuit over iOS 4 slowing iPhone 3G

post #1 of 60
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A California woman seeking a class action lawsuit against Apple after being dissatisfied with her iPhone 3G following an update to iOS 4 has had her case thrown out by the judge evaluating the complaint.

Bianca Wofford of San Diego had sued Apple in October 2010, seeking $5,000 in damages for each affected user, claiming that the company had made false statements regarding the benefits of iOS 4 and complaining that the update had instead "rendered the iPhone 3G devices virtually unusable, constantly slowed, crashed or frozen."

Wofford's lawsuit contended that Apple prevented iPhone 3G users upgrading to iOS 4 from downgrading back to iOS 3, purportedly to force them into purchasing the newer 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.

However, Judge Anthony J. Battaglia ruled this week that because iOS 4 was free update, it did not amount to a "sale or lease" regulated under California's Consumer Legal Remedy Act.

The judge noted, "the Plaintiffs’ original purchase of the iPhone is a separate transaction from their free upgrade of the iPhone’s operating system, which occurred about a year later. The iPhone’s software upgrade was not intended to result in a 'sale or lease' because it was provided free of charge."

The judge also ruled that the update did not quality as a "good or service" and therefore dismissed Wafford's related claims alleging false advertising and deceptive business practices.

Three months before Wofford's claim was filed, Apple told the Wall Street Journal it was investigating performance issues with iPhone 3G running iOS 4, and just over a month later, Steve Jobs announced an iOS 4.1 update designed to address, among other things, iPhone 3G performance issues.



Apple's iPhone 3G, first released in July 2008, currently runs iOS 4.2.1, an update released nearly two and a half years after the phone first went on sale. Apple's latest iOS 5 runs only on the iPhone 3GS or newer models. Few alternative mobile platforms release updates for their devices for more than a year.
post #2 of 60
I love it when stories include pictures of Steve.

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post #3 of 60
The iOS update is not a "good or service?" This passes for sound legal reasoning these days?
post #4 of 60
Good. Now disbar the scumbag attorney for wasting everyone's time and money on a frivolous lawsuit.
post #5 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Wofford's lawsuit contended that Apple prevented iPhone 3G users upgrading to iOS 4 from downgrading back to iOS 3, purportedly to force them into purchasing the newer iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4.

If Apple really wanted to stick it to the 3G users all they had to do was not offer an update instead of doing some Doctor Claw evil villian crap by rendering a certain percentage of 3G device unusable. MWHAHAhahahahaha Sometimes I wish they would just let their old products languish so people can have something real yo bitch and moan amount over this invented crap.
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post #6 of 60
Maybe why Siri is not available on i4. Just barely enough power to run it but marginally close to unacceptable performance. It is better to err on the side of cautiousness rather than to risk having a bunch of dissatisfied users.

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post #7 of 60
I would hope Congress takes a look at tort reform. It's these frivolous lawsuits, in part, that drag our economy down. IMO, this woman should have to pay for all court and lawyer fees involved in her junk lawsuit. Tort reform doesn't mean stopping a real grievance but making sure penalties are enforced in cases like these.
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Maybe why Siri is not available on i4. Just barely enough power to run it but marginally close to unacceptable performance. It is better to err on the side of cautiousness rather than to risk having a bunch of dissatisfied users.

I think there is some potential truth to that scenario as Siri does work differently as a part of the OS than as a standalone app, and the HW is clearly different between the 3GS and 4 from the 4S, but I think the most likely reason is their back-end's ability to handle the load.

Also, while I think it's unlikely at this point they will port Siri to older devices when their sales are likely to grow fast enough to keep Apple's Siri back-end team busy, I also wouldn't be surprised as there is a lot of dat mining to be had, especially in countries outside the US where having older phones in a much smaller country could definitely help with their ability to make the service more accurate and useful.
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post #9 of 60
5k damages? Lol

For a 200$ device...
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post #10 of 60
Yup, it's a free update. Update at your own risk.

But 4.0 (and the final 4.3) did make the 3G slow as mollasses.

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post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

I would hope Congress takes a look at tort reform. It's these frivolous lawsuits, in part, that drag our economy down. IMO, this woman should have to pay for all court and lawyer fees involved in her junk lawsuit. Tort reform doesn't mean stopping a real grievance but making sure penalties are enforced in cases like these.

Sorry, am I missing something here? The system worked just like it should. She filed a bs claim and it was dealt with accordingly.
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Yup, it's a free update. Update at your own risk.

But 4.0 (and the final 4.3) did make the 3G slow as mollasses.

4.0 was nearly unusable. 4.1 was what 3G users should have got from the get-go... slower than 3.x but what you'd expect, given the hardware limitations. I think the last it got was 4.2.x though.
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Yup, it's a free update. Update at your own risk.

But 4.0 (and the final 4.3) did make the 3G slow as mollasses.

Based on numerous reports I never did upgrade my old 3G to iOS 4.0+. The lawsuit was legit, IMHO. Especially since you couldn't downgrade your OS.

Why is that? You can never downgrade? Seems nefarious to me...

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post #14 of 60
The only way I could see this having caught traction, is if once upgraded, you were unable to downgrade to make the device usable again. Theoretically, without downgrading, you'd be out a device or at least one that didn't work in the way it was advertised.

Question though, can you downgrade an Apple iDevice?
(Question answered, see above poster...)

So seems the correct solution wasn't to support the 3G, but to allow a downgrade. Simple fix really.
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post #15 of 60
The simple fact is that the software usually runs poorly on minimum spec systems, and well, the iPhone 3G was minimum spec for iOS 4. It was her choice to upgrade. Why didn't she downgrade if iOS 4 performed poorly on her phone?
post #16 of 60
Good call.

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post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

The only way I could see this having caught traction, is if once upgraded, you were unable to downgrade to make the device usable again. Theoretically, you'd be out a device, or at least one that didn't work in the way it was advertised.

Question though, can you downgrade an Apple iDevice?
(Question answered, see above poster...)

Apple says no. In reality, with third party tools, you can but only the iOS. There's no way to downgrade the radio firmware, which means that at some release, you could find that downgrading iOS breaks the phone functionality. (because of the mis-matched versions)
post #18 of 60
So this means that anyone can do anything to your hardware via software, and as long as they don't charge you for it, they are not responsible for loss of functionality.

By that same reasoning, no one can sue anybody that makes a virus or Trojan house, because

A. They didn't charge you for it, and
B. You chose to download it, even though you may have done so unwittingly, or had been enticed to by the claimed benefits.

Nice⸮
post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Good. Now disbar the scumbag attorney for wasting everyone's time and money on a frivolous lawsuit.

I had a 3G and iOS4 did make it pretty much unusable so this wasn't really a frivolous lawsuit. There was no easy way to downgrade and the result was I bought a new phone earlier than I would otherwise have done. iOS4 should never have been offered on the 3G.

$5000 is way too much and is simply greed; but I do think Apple has a case to answer.
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

The simple fact is that the software usually runs poorly on minimum spec systems, and well, the iPhone 3G was minimum spec for iOS 4. It was her choice to upgrade. Why didn't she downgrade if iOS 4 performed poorly on her phone?

Yes the software ran poorly but Apple said that the older phones could run it, which turned out to be false. I was caught by this and it severley affected my phone and I could NOT go back.

So although apple won the lawsuit I think they lost the moral argument. Personally I haven't upgraded my iPad to iOS5 yet because of my distrust of Apple. I probably will soon though.

I wish my Mac would stop prompting me to upgrade to iOS 5 every time I connect my iPad. The fact that it does this reduces Apples argument that it is voluntary, though technically correct the constant reminder sort of infers it isn't really at all

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post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

5k damages? Lol

For a 200$ device...

For pain and suffering. But mostly lawyers fees.

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post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

The simple fact is that the software usually runs poorly on minimum spec systems, and well, the iPhone 3G was minimum spec for iOS 4. It was her choice to upgrade. Why didn't she downgrade if iOS 4 performed poorly on her phone?

So now you are saying Apple is just like MS when it claims windows runs on minimum spec systems, BS imho. So now we can't trust apple any more when it makes these claims , just like MS

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post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Wofford's lawsuit contended that Apple prevented iPhone 3G users upgrading to iOS 4 from downgrading back to iOS 3, purportedly to force them into purchasing the newer iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4.

Don't know if this case has legal merit or not, but I do agree that it's a pain not to be able to easily downgrade your iOS.

You have to have first jailbroken your device, then have saved your SHSH blobs, in order to downgrade.
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbh0001 View Post

So this means that anyone can do anything to your hardware via software, and as long as they don't charge you for it, they are not responsible for loss of functionality.

By that same reasoning, no one can sue anybody that makes a virus or Trojan house, because

A. They didn't charge you for it, and
B. You chose to download it, even though you may have done so unwittingly, or had been enticed to by the claimed benefits.

Nice⸮

Apple is a big company with lots of money and is part of the establishment and the Judges are on their side, unlike hackers. So nothing has changed, its us against them

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post #25 of 60
One of the big issues is where did the $5000 come from? Seriously it is a huge amount of money for a free update to a rather cheap device. At best she should have been suing for a reversion to the old OS.

That being said I was not at all please with Apple and the performance of iOS 4 on the 3G. Apple certainly screwed that one up. However lets face facts here they did resolve the issues with the software on that generation phone. The only other thing you could reasonably expect form them would be a reinstall of the old OS. In my opinon Apple took the right course in making the additional functionality work on the device.

Yeah it was still slow but then again the 3G never was a barn burner. The important thing was that many of the outstanding bugs where deleted and the really bad performance issues addressed.
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

Apple is a big company with lots of money and is part of the establishment and the Judges are on their side, unlike hackers. So nothing has changed, its us against them

Apple is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

For goodness sake...
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post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

One of the big issues is where did the $5000 come from?

Isn't $5k the maximum for small claims court?
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post #28 of 60
The legal system worked exactly like it should. The judge viewed the evidence and dismissed the case. The lawyer bringing the lawsuit likely took the case on contingency. He likely put a lot of time into the matter, and now will not be compensated. The plaintiff will have to pay the cost (e.g. filing fees, etc.).

Assuming Apple didn't address the matter, the only part I see about the case being frivolous is the amount of damages the person was seeking. You could buy two new iPhones and four years of service for that. Ridiculous.

If performance really was an issue and Apple offered the upgrade, Apple should either 1) resolve the issues, or 2) offer a way to downgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Good. Now disbar the scumbag attorney for wasting everyone's time and money on a frivolous lawsuit.
post #29 of 60
Honestly, we don't need tort reform. The system worked like it should A women thought she was wronged. She brought a lawsuit. The judge looked at the evidence and dismissed the case before the case had to go to trial.

Most State governments already have implemented tort reform. Some States, Michigan being one, have over reached. In Michigan it almost impossible to win a tort lawsuits, and the damages are capped to a point that would meaningless for a company like Apple.

Moreover, State governments really should be the ones making these rules. Who wants the federal government deciding local matters? Not I.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

I would hope Congress takes a look at tort reform. It's these frivolous lawsuits, in part, that drag our economy down. IMO, this woman should have to pay for all court and lawyer fees involved in her junk lawsuit. Tort reform doesn't mean stopping a real grievance but making sure penalties are enforced in cases like these.
post #30 of 60
Everyone keeps saying $5k is ridiculous... But let's not discount the fees associated with court and the time to prepare a case and pay an attorney. Even if the attorney were working for a, say, 40% fee (which is always off the gross, THEN you pay court costs). So that "$5k" is more like less than $2,000-$2,500- keep in mind the phone is ~$600. So it's not as outlandish as one might suspect at first glance.

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post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by StigsHero View Post

Apple says no. In reality, with third party tools, you can but only the iOS. There's no way to downgrade the radio firmware, which means that at some release, you could find that downgrading iOS breaks the phone functionality. (because of the mis-matched versions)

What if you restored from a backup of the original OS on the phone? Couldn't you do that?
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post

The iOS update is not a "good or service?" This passes for sound legal reasoning these days?

Not in the same sense as what the law defines it as.

Basically the consumer protection law that she tried to apply is in regards to you paying for something that doesn't do what was claimed. Like if I sell you a pill that I claim will cause you to lose 10 lbs in a week even if you eat more and exercise less than before. but it does nothing.

Because iOS 4 was given to her for free the laws don't apply.

Add to this that Apple never said you could downgrade AND you had to select to apply the upgrade and it probably didn't help her case

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post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

What if you restored from a backup of the original OS on the phone? Couldn't you do that?

Backups are only if your data, not the system software

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post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If Apple really wanted to stick it to the 3G users all they had to do was not offer an update instead of doing some Doctor Claw evil villian crap by rendering a certain percentage of 3G device unusable. MWHAHAhahahahaha Sometimes I wish they would just let their old products languish so people can have something real yo bitch and moan amount over this invented crap.

Autocorrect can be a pain if one is not fully alert to what the text editor is doing, however, yo bitch is too good and perhaps a little Freudian?
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post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

If performance really was an issue and Apple offered the upgrade, Apple should either 1) resolve the issues,

as the article pointed out, they did.

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post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

I had a 3G and iOS4 did make it pretty much unusable so this wasn't really a frivolous lawsuit. There was no easy way to downgrade and the result was I bought a new phone earlier than I would otherwise have done. iOS4 should never have been offered on the 3G.

$5000 is way too much and is simply greed; but I do think Apple has a case to answer.

It seems that the case was thrown out on a technicality or a series of technicalities, not on the basis of lack of merit. The woman it seems, was given poor advice. Her solicitor should be feeling quite embarrassed, wonder whether the law firm acted for her pro bono? Overall, is the 3G a better device with the latest available update installed?

All the best.
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post #37 of 60
This judge was a moron. If Apple won't let people control their own machines and the machines suffer from software made by Apple then the company is at fault. Part of the benefits touted by Apple are that they give out upgrades to their devices. Not allowing somebody to fix their own property by downgrading software is in a way extortion because it forces people to upgrade their phones.

I'm not a tech guy but I know enough to visit a forum and start asking questions about fixing something that is software related. Sometimes I'll ask about software before I download it. I've learned that not all updates are good, even the ones from Apple.

Not everybody has come to this conclusion yet. Eventually they will.
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

...Personally I haven't upgraded my iPad to iOS5 yet because of my distrust of Apple. I probably will soon though.

I wish my Mac would stop prompting me to upgrade to iOS 5 every time I connect my iPad...

My experience is that you're safe upgrading. I have just performed the over the air upgrade on my original iPad, all is good. Safari, Mail, iBooks, Pages etc. are all working. (I have done my iPhone 4 too.)
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post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Everyone keeps saying $5k is ridiculous... But let's not discount the fees associated with court and the time to prepare a case and pay an attorney. Even if the attorney were working for a, say, 40% fee (which is always off the gross, THEN you pay court costs). So that "$5k" is more like less than $2,000-$2,500- keep in mind the phone is ~$600. So it's not as outlandish as one might suspect at first glance.

The article says $5k for each affected user though, which is pretty much all 3G owners and probably 20-30 million people or so, possibly making for a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Would any other kind be worthwhile?

I think the lawsuit has some merit, the 3G definitely performed a lot better on version 3 than version 4 of the OS while not really adding significant functionality as they blocked most of the best bits including multi-tasking on the 3G anyway and don't offer a downgrade option. But, they didn't make it unusable, just unpleasant and I don't think it's such a big deal. I don't expect it will ever happen again as the new models have reached a certain performance level so their crime was merely coercing you into a single upgrade for a phone that was 2 years old already, out of contract and in many cases out of warranty.

Trying to get you to upgrade via unethical practices is not exclusive to Apple and they are within their right to do so. There's no reason why Siri can't be used on iPhone 4 and even 3GS devices, it appears unofficially to work fine but it would be one less reason to buy the new phone. They'll find it harder to do this sort of thing as time goes on.
post #40 of 60
I do think Apple should have held back iOS 4 from 3G owners, or scaled it back even if that meant dual versions and more work for Apple. They messed up, in my view, and I dont know how 3G owners tolerate it! (I know some who do!)

That said... $5000? No.
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