Another day, another lawsuit. To boost sales of the iPhone 4, Apple told owners of its third-generation iPhone to download an operating system that the company knew would turn the 3G phones into a “device with little more use than that of a paper weight,” unhappy customers say in a Superior Court class action, as reported by the “Courthouse News Service” (http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/11/03/31573.htm).
Lead plaintiff Bianca Wofford says Apple told owners of its 3G and 3GS iPhones that the new iOS4 operating system was an upgrade. But she says the “upgrade” made her phone slow and susceptible to crashes, turning an iPhone into an “iBrick,” says “Courthouse News Service.”
“In essence, Apple knowingly and intentionally released what it called a system software ‘upgrade’ that, in fact, made hundreds of thousands of third generation iPhones that were exclusively tethered to AT&T data plans ‘useless’ for their intended purpose,” according to the complaint.
It continues: “Since the release of iOS4 in conjunction with the sale and release of the fourth generation iPhone, or the iPhone 4 in June 2010, Apple has falsely, intentionally and repeatedly represented to owners and consumers of the iPhone 3G that its new operating system for the device, iOS4, was of a nature, quality, and a significant upgrade for the functionality of all iPhone devices, when in fact, the installation and use of iOS4 on the iPhone 3G resulted in the opposite – a device with little more use than that of a paper weight.”
According to “Courthouse News Service,” Wofford says there is no way to restore the third-generation phones’ operating system without using “hacker tactics.” She claims that Apple intentionally created a “consumer Catch 22” to get 3G users to switch to the new iPhone 4.
Wofford seeks restitution, disgorgement of Apple’s ill-gotten gains, and damages for false and deceptive advertising, unfair competition, and violations of state consumer protection laws. She’s represented by J. Jason Hill with Cohelan and Khoury.