Apple is facing a class action lawsuit in New York over claims that it intentionally hobbled iOS 9 performance on the iPhone 4s in a scheme to force users into upgrading to new phones. The plaintiffs accused Apple of false advertising and deceptive trade practices, and are asking for more than US$5 million in damages.
Plaintiff Chaim Lerman claimed Apple said the iPhone 4s was compatible with iOS 9, but that in real world use the update left his four year old smartphone essentially unusable thanks to buggy and slow performance. The lawsuit calls Apple out for engaging in planned obsolescence as a tactic to force customers to buy new iPhones.
The lawsuit stated,
Plaintiff and other owners of the iPhone 4s were harmed when their devices' software was updated to the newest version, iOS 9. The update significantly, slowed down their iPhones and interfered with the normal usage of the device, leaving Plaintiff with a difficult choice: use a slow and buggy device that disrupts everyday life or spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone.
The lawsuit also claims that Apple uses its security measures to block users from downgading to older iOS versions.
Apple does, in fact, list the iPhone 4s as iOS 9 compatible, along with the first generation iPad mini and the iPad 2—all of which are years-old product. The iPhone 4s was released in October 2011, the iPad mini in October 2012, and the iPad 2 in March 2011.
The company does not, however, make any claims as to how well iOS 9 performs on older iPhone and iPad models.
The plaintiffs are asking for $5 million with the option to go for triple damages. Apple hasn't commented on the case.
[Thanks to Patently Apple for the heads up]