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  • "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.

    Source: Wired
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "iBricks:" iPhone 3G User Sues Apple Over iOS 4.0 started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 134 Comments
    1. richieok's Avatar
      richieok -
      when i upgraded my firmware on 3G to os 4.0, my sim chip burned out on me and i had to have it replaced by at&t. And ever since, the phone has rendered itself useless and virtually impossible to use because it is just way to slow to do anything on it: constant drop calls, either no bar signal or 3 bars at most, and slow in navigating around the apps on the screen.
      Apples employees kept telling me its time to upgrade and told me that it is not possible to downgrade at all. I say its all a bunch of craps.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      richie, if you have a 3G you can downgrade to 3.x firmware. here is the link to iclarified where a vast majority of firmware links are listed:

      iClarified - iPhone - Where To Download iPhone Firmware Files From

      since your firmware doesn't require signing then you can download and shift+restore to 3.x firmware. sorry to hear about your troubles.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
      not exactly the same and here is why: your iphone won't stop making calls or texts if you choose not to update. simple as that. everything will work exactly as it did before if you choose the "cancel" button when it asks if you want to download and install new software.

      another note, i am very surprised people don't research more and just blindly update **** without finding out what it will do. every single time an update comes out even if its just a .0.1 or .1 version or whatever it is i always wait and read what people are saying on the forums about it. like many others, i have put a lot of time and effort into the jailbreaking and SSH mods to my iphone and i don't like jumping through that hoop every time a new version comes out. right now my 3gS runs fine on 4.0 and i don't notice any performance issues but i'll give 4.2 some time before upgrading to make sure it really works and to give me adequate time to make sure my jailbroken apps will still work. i just dont understand why people don't put more thought into these decisions knowing apple's history with not being able to downgrade.

      furthermore please show me documentation that says a company is required to support older hardware when newer hardware is available. just because you are required to update doesn't mean microsoft is required to support your hardware. that might not make sense so let me explain it this way. the reason microsoft doesn't care if you update if you never go on xbox live is because older hardware may be more taxing on the xbox live network and these updates are most likely created for 2 reasons: to patch security holes, and improve efficiency. if your old xbox is taxing the network because it isn't as fast and efficient as a new one they have every right to block you from playing unless you update. microsoft has a loyalty to make sure their users have the fastest and most bug-free experience possible and all joking aside they at least try to accomplish that. if you never go on xbox live then this is all irrelevant and updates don't mean anything to you.
      How can one's logic be so flawed.

      It's not as if these phones were pulled from the market four years ago. The 3G was still sold by Apple no less than six months ago. When you're forced into a two year contract here in the States, it is certainly reasonable to expect that Apple will provide top of the line support for your device until your contract expires.

      Also, a lot of you need to remember that the overwhelming majority of iPhone owners look at updates as good things and should have no reason to fear such things from the company that produced such great device. The select few of us who do jailbreak our devices are the only people who see iOS updates as things to fear and completely avoid (granted the 4.0 on 3G debacle will sway normal users to be reluctant from now on).
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mortopher View Post
      How can one's logic be so flawed.

      It's not as if these phones were pulled from the market four years ago. The 3G was still sold by Apple no less than six months ago. When you're forced into a two year contract here in the States, it is certainly reasonable to expect that Apple will provide top of the line support for your device until your contract expires.

      Also, a lot of you need to remember that the overwhelming majority of iPhone owners look at updates as good things and should have no reason to fear such things from the company that produced such great device. The select few of us who do jailbreak our devices are the only people who see iOS updates as things to fear and completely avoid (granted the 4.0 on 3G debacle will sway normal users to be reluctant from now on).
      Well said

      Oh and that whole spiel on Xbox live was way left field on the subject.
    1. Kumputer's Avatar
      Kumputer -
      Firstly, the name calling in this thread isn't helping anyone.

      It's been said before, but yes, $5000 is pennies, and probably cannot even cover the cost of lawyer fees. It's apparent that this lawsuit is aimed at making Apple change its policy on how it deals with its customers. I fully support it. If the suit is successful, I hope she gets more than $5000 due to the public service she's performed.

      It's been said that being under a contract makes upgrading to new hardware too expensive. Fine, but at the same time, when you've completed your contract, you have every right to keep your device and you shouldn't have to upgrade. Not only that, but you OWN the device fair and square now, and in this case it puts Apple in the extremely unethical side of the spectrum when it forces its paying customers to do anything that they don't want to do. Ok, fine, they don't force you to upgrade necessarily, BUT, they do indeed PREVENT you from doing things that you should be allowed to do with your device that you bought and paid for. If I want to downgrade my OS to any version I feel like, Apple should not be allowed to prevent me. Ok, fine, so if you put the 3G in DFU mode, you can downgrade, and if you have TinyUmbrella you can kick it out of recovery after it claims that the restore failed. In other words, you have to hack your way back to 3.1 because Apple is trying to stop you. 3GS users are SOL completely unless they have SHSH's saved. Which brings me straight to the point of this in the first place. It's abhorrent that Apple prevents signing of older firmware. It's complete BS, and those who enforce it should be ashamed.

      Now lets take this a step further: The courts have ruled in the consumer's favor that Jailbreaking and unlocking are completely legal and should be protected under US law. What still pisses me off is that the law also allows Apple to take measures to prevent the lowly paying consumer from jailbreaking or unlocking their device when such practices are perfectly reasonable and legal.

      Lets put this into perspective again. I paid for my iPhone fair and square, and I have no contract to fulfill. I was running on AT&T in the USA and all was well until a career issue forced me to move to Canada. I needed to go through the trouble to Jailbreak and unlock the 3GS so I could keep it in Canada and use Telus as a carrier instead. One day I made the mistake that so many others have made and accidentally updated to 4.1 due to a slip of the finger. Now, of course my baseband got updated, and can no longer be unlocked. Hence I have no working cell phone in Canada. So there are 2 things wrong with this picture. Again, I PAID for the damn thing, and I am not on a carrier contract, so freaking let me go, Apple and AT&T! Unlock my device! Ok, fine if you won't unlock it for me, then at the very least allow me to downgrade my baseband so I can unlock again. Stop being such an evil big brother. I understand you want your users to have a controlled iOS experience, but this is just freaking ridiculous.

      Google has their own business slogan, "Don't be evil." Apple/AT&T are being about as evil as they come, and if this lawsuit doesn't change things, I'll definitely be going with an Android the next time I have enough cash for a new phone.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kumputer View Post
      Now lets take this a step further: The courts have ruled in the consumer's favor that Jailbreaking and unlocking are completely legal and should be protected under US law. What still pisses me off is that the law also allows Apple to take measures to prevent the lowly paying consumer from jailbreaking or unlocking their device when such practices are perfectly reasonable and legal.

      Lets put this into perspective again. I paid for my iPhone fair and square, and I have no contract to fulfill. I was running on AT&T in the USA and all was well until a career issue forced me to move to Canada. I needed to go through the trouble to Jailbreak and unlock the 3GS so I could keep it in Canada and use Telus as a carrier instead. One day I made the mistake that so many others have made and accidentally updated to 4.1 due to a slip of the finger. Now, of course my baseband got updated, and can no longer be unlocked. Hence I have no working cell phone in Canada. So there are 2 things wrong with this picture. Again, I PAID for the damn thing, and I am not on a carrier contract, so freaking let me go, Apple and AT&T! Unlock my device! Ok, fine if you won't unlock it for me, then at the very least allow me to downgrade my baseband so I can unlock again. Stop being such an evil big brother. I understand you want your users to have a controlled iOS experience, but this is just freaking ridiculous.

      Google has their own business slogan, "Don't be evil." Apple/AT&T are being about as evil as they come, and if this lawsuit doesn't change things, I'll definitely be going with an Android the next time I have enough cash for a new phone.
      I agree with the first half of what you had to say, but I don't with the above topics.

      The overwhelming majority of these measures taken by Apple to "prevent the lowly paying consumer from jailbreaking or unlocking their device" are nothing more than patches to publicly known vulnerabilities in their software. Things such as the pdf exploit that Comex used for Star are wide open holes in the softwares security, and it would be irresponsible of Apple to not issue an update that patches such a potential threat. Remember, jailbreakers are a very small part percentage of iDevice users. For the average user, these vulnerabilities are nothing but security risks.

      As far as the moving to Canada is concerned, that's just tough luck. To this day, I have no clue how people "accidentally" update their iDevices. Even if there is a "slip of the finger" (again, this baffles me), you still have a window of a minute or two in which you can simply unplug your device from the computer and everything will be perfectly fine.

      Hell, throw the 3GS up on eBay and that money will certainly cover a considerable portion of buying an unlocked iPhone in Canada.

      How is AT&T evil in any of that? Were they misleading? Apple's not even being "evil" in your situation; you moved to an entirely different country.

      Have fun on Android.
    1. jmanng's Avatar
      jmanng -
      I agree with Kumputer.

      I`m also in Canada and unfortunately my Son did update the 3gs iphone I bought off of ebay for him in August. It is now a brick that I am currently paying a monthly service fee to Telus. So I have a Telus plan with no phone hardware (interesting though, Telus whom I`m with does sell both new and refurb iphones - still not good enough for Apple). If an unlock doesn`t become available shortly, it will force me into having to take other action.

      I iterate the same, I paid for it - it is not stolen and in a free country what right does Apple possess in being able to take back control and disable my possession (that`s the i in iPhone - is it not)? It really intrigues me with all of the anti-competition legislation here and in the USA (especially USA), that locking is permitted after the fulfillment of the contract!

      Has anyone else found it interesting that Apple chooses to validate your phone`s sim at the back end of the upgrade process - why is the check not applied when initiating the upgrade if they do not wish to support such operation?? The answer is quite simple of course, to purposely disable the device.

      So I have this to say to Apple: "Apple free my Iphone!!" or hopefully there will be many more lawsuits coming your way.
    1. Zydiac's Avatar
      Zydiac -
      Quote Originally Posted by ADF View Post
      You all have to be kidding me? The 3G is three years old. Get a new phone already!
      Three f'ing years old!? THAT PIECE OF CRAP MUST BE SOME DAMN OUTDATED GAR-B1TCH!! Listen to the new cool features in the 3GS:

      "iPhone 3GS - The biggest leap forward since the original iPhone...

      We added...

      Compass."

      Thats like... OH MY GOD!! Gotta have one!!!

      ...I understand that you think that way since your parents still wipe your ***, feed you applesauce out of a squeezy tube and pay your 800 dollar phones.

      You're awful and I hope you die.
    1. cameltrader's Avatar
      cameltrader -
      Amazing stuff...I recall the Mafia had a similar business model : "If you pay us for protection, we'll make sure your shop windows don't get broken"...When Guido and Vito do it, the Feds are all over them, when a multi-billion dollar corporation does it, it's okay?

      The best analogy I've heard recently is when your local glass merchant comes around to give your windows a "Free Upgrade", then proceeds to smash them with a sledgehammer. When you complain, he offers to sell you the "new glass model-unbroken!"
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      ^^ Thats funny . lol

      The Apple love/hate (or 'hate to love') relationship continues.
    1. smoelge's Avatar
      smoelge -
      The option to downgrade would be sweet!
    1. IXAdamOwnzXI's Avatar
      IXAdamOwnzXI -
      If I were that lady and I know what I know now, I'd sue not for money but for Apple to be required to let us restore to any Firmware we chose. Hehe.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -


      ^ this
    1. pdiddy21502's Avatar
      pdiddy21502 -
      Wow cant believe she won