“Planned obsolescence” is a tired old phrase and a favorite of Apple critics when talking about how the company likes to get people to upgrade to shinier iPhones. The supposed menacing aspect of having Apple actively pull users up to newer devices or push down older device owners’ experiences is what’s troubling at least 100 people who are participating in a class action lawsuit against the Cupertino giant.
Specifically, those holding the iPhone 4s are asking for at least $5 million in damages and fees plus admission of wrongdoing in ads and disclaimers because of extremely degraded performance after installation of the iOS 9 software package.
From the complaint:
Apple explicitly represented to the public that iOS 9 is compatible with and supports the iPhone 4S. And Apple failed to warn iPhone 4S owners that the update may or will significantly interfere with the device’s performance.
The lead plaintiff in the case claims that after installing the update, his 4s “was no longer functional for normal use.” Touch input was slow to register. App launches crawled. Email, text, call and contacts functions suffered impairment.
Since Apple closed the signing windows on all iOS 8 iterations, users could not revert back to previous software versions. The suit claims that the company does not warn users of this (this assertion is correct as far as the End User License Agreement and the changelog goes).
The core claim comes down to Apple knowing of these performance issues and have decided to push ahead with the scope of its release and promotion of iOS 9 anyways.
We’ll see if the case gets picked up on the docket, but if we’re to take a similarly-based case against Apple from 2011 that got tossed, it doesn’t look good for this suit.