Apple has a new class action lawsuit on its hand, this one accusing the company of intentionally crippling iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS with iOS 4 so that owners of the older devices would upgrade to new iPhone 4 models. Bianca Wofford, the lead plaintiff in the case, accuses Apple of deliberately turning her iPhone into an “iBrick” with iOS 4.
At the heart of the complaint are the following claims: The first is that iOS 4 turns iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS into, “a device with little more use than that of a paper weight.” Secondly, Apple knew this, but presented iOS 4 as a significant upgrade for the devices. Thirdly, the lawsuit alleges that Apple deliberately did so in order to increase sales of its new iPhone 4.
“This whole situation was created to be a consumer Catch 22 by Apple in order for the company to promote sales of its just released iPhone 4 and cause consumers to simply abandon the earlier 3G and 3GS platforms,” the plaintiff’s attorneys said in the suit.
To seal the deal on this cruel plan of Apple’s is the company’s policy preventing her from reverting to an older version of iOS (for instance, iPhone OS 3.x).
“Even though Apple has actual knowledge of thousands of complaints from iPhone 3G/3GS consumers,” the lawsuit claims, “Apple does not allow for those same users/consumers of third generation devices to download and re-install earlier and optimized iOS3.x operating system without resorting to ‘hacker’ tactics that will void Apple warranties and violate iPhone user agreements.”
“In essence,” the attorneys wrote, “Apple knowingly and intentionally released what it called a system software ‘upgrade’ that, in fact, made hundreds of thousands of third generation iPhones that were exclusively tethered to AT&T data plans ‘useless’ for their intended purpose.”
According to coverage of the suit by Courthouse News, the suit seeks restitution, disgorgement of Apple’s ill-gotten gains, and damages for false and deceptive advertising, unfair competition, and violations of state consumer protection laws.