"iBricks:" iPhone 3G User Sues Apple Over iOS 4.0
A lawsuit filed this week claims that Apple deliberately pushed iOS 4.0 to iPhone 3G and 3GS users, despite the fact that they knew it was buggy and slow, in order to improve sales of the iPhone 4. In a civil case brought at the County Court of San Diego in California, Bianca Wofford complains the upgrade made her phone virtually useless, and that Apple used the fact that users can't downgrade to an older version of the operating system to induce them to buy iPhone 4s. The case may bring closer scrutiny to Apple's restrictions on the ability of users to load the software they want on devices they own.
The crux of Wofford's complaint is that Apple urged users of older phones to upgrade, promising performance improvements that they knew iOS 4 could not deliver. According to the lawsuit
[PDF], "Apple has falsely, intentionally and repeatedly represented that iOS 4, was a significant upgrade for the functionality of all iPhone devices, when in fact... iOS 4 is a substantial 'downgrade' for earlier iPhone devices and renders many of them virtually useless 'iBricks.'" The fundamental problem that Wofford and her lawyers highlight here is the fact that users can't downgrade without jailbreaking and voiding their warranties. "The iOS4 'upgrade' has essentially curtailed usefulness of the 3G/3GS devices," the lawsuit continues, "and left consumers, like Wofford, without any ability to restore the device to its prior acceptable functionality.
If the case is found in the plaintiff's favor, Apple will be facing false advertising charges and violation of California's Unfair Competition Act, and may end up having to pay restitution and damages. In addition, the court may order that Apple provide a way for users to downgrade, or protect jailbreakers' warranty writes. The filing also states that Wofford intends to ask a judge to grant class action status to her lawsuit in order to provide benefits for more iPhone 3G and 3GS users that suffered from the problem.