Apple’s iOS 9 maintained support for a range of older, “legacy” iOS devices. Now, however, a number of iPhone 4s owners have launched a class action lawsuit against Apple over this move, arguing that the update to iOS 9 “harmed” their handsets and forced a costly hardware upgrade.
$5 million in damages
Here’s the lawsuit (via AppleInsider). In it, plaintiff Chaim Lerman argues that Apple “engaged in deceptive trade practices and false advertisement by touting iOS 9 as compatible with legacy handsets dating back to iPhone 4s models,” the publication explains. Yet what Lerman (and, perhaps, countless of our readers, too) experienced was an “inoperable” device incapable of performing even the simplest of tasks without struggling.
Of course, once the update to iOS 9 had been made, there was no going back (at least, not in a way that’s sanctioned by Apple).
The class action lawsuit filed Dec. 29 seeks a total of $5 million in damages from Apple, and it includes more than 100 members. It also features an option to treble damages, too, and of course given the number of iOS 9-powered iPhone 4s owners out there, the issue isn’t limited to just this suit’s 100 members.
However, the lawsuit doesn’t stop there. It adds that, given Apple’s assumed “internal testing and/or through other means,” engineers at Cupertino (and even exectutives themselves, perhaps) were aware of the performance of iOS 9 on legacy devices.
As such, the lawsuit states that, despite knowing this, Apple embarked on an ad campaign in which it highlighted iOS 9’s compatibility with the iPhone 4s. Cupertino is therefore also accused of false advertising and purposeful deception in this respect.
This isn’t the first time older iOS devices have struggled with new firmware updates: the problem is almost as old as iOS itself. The news today makes me wonder, though, if Apple does need to change its approach towards firmware updates, either through allowing downgrades or by more stringently limiting the compatibility of new OS releases. The lawsuit argues that a number of its plaintiffs were forced into purchasing a new iPhone as a result of their iOS 9 woes, and this doesn’t send out a great message for the general consumer.
I have to say, even with an iPhone 6 Plus that’s just over a year old, I’m beginning to feel my handset isn’t quite able to fully handle iOS 9. This might be because I’ve become accustomed to the lightning-fast iPad Pro, or it could be that my one-year-old iPhone is simply slowing down.
All of this makes Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program an even more attractive option (even though the program has yet to launch in Britain).