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Apple hit with lawsuit over poor iOS 9 performance on older iPhones

Apple is facing yet another lawsuit, this time from a group of unhappy iPhone 4s owners, who aren't too pleased about the poor performance brought on by the latest iOS 9 update. The class-action suit claims that Apple plans the obsolescence of its devices and knows of potential compatibility problems before pushing out its new updates to older devices.

iOS 9 will likely be the last update for the iPhone 4S, which came out back in 2011. According to the complaint, iOS 9 brings along a big hit to performance on the aging device and since Apple doesn't allow users to downgrade, iPhone 4s owners who updated are now stuck with the poor performance or forced to upgrade to a newer generation.

iphone-4s

The lawsuit (via: Apple Insider) has around 100 members in total and says that Apple should be well aware of these issues following internal testing or through other means. In total, the plaintiffs are seeking $5 million from Apple, though there is an option to triple that amount.

This is partially down to the fact that each new version of iOS is designed to take full advantage of the latest hardware, which means older iPhones may end up struggling over time. That said, if day to day performance takes that much of a hit on an older iPhone, then perhaps Apple should make that clear to users before offering them the update.

KitGuru Says: I had some experience with the iPhone 4 on iOS 8 and that was pretty bad. So now with iOS 9, iPhone 4s users are likely experiencing similar performance issues, which does help perpetuate talk of intentional downgrades from smartphone makers in order to push users into upgrading. It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit plays out in particular. Do you guys ever think that smartphone makers cripple the performance of older devices on purpose? Would such a tactic help push you into upgrading? 

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10 comments

  1. Demon Highwayman

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Apple had designed iOS 9 to deliberately gimp performance on older handsets – Planned obsolescence, all big business does it to an extent.

  2. Unfortunately , I tend to believe this too myself. I owned an iPhone 4 back in 2010 till 2014 and then got the new iPhone 6. This 4’s performance was dropping significantly every time a new update was released .The phone had no other problems nor it was full with apps . The sad thing though is that even now , my new IPhone 6 is starting to show these performance issues any time a new update is released. And its happened rather soon. The apps are the same. My iPhone usage pattern is more or less the same. I don’t utilize all my free space ( 25 out of 64gb are still free ).
    On one hand I get it, apple is not a NFP company. But on the other hand.. Well come on guyz , you re better than this. You don’t need these tricks. We surely don’t want to think that we are tricked. You have a magnificent product/brand.Show them and us some respect.

  3. Apple have been pulling stuff like this for a long time. Nothing new.

  4. Sad,Sad,Sad.The iphone 4s is-or was a good device. The reason they keep releasing IOS on devices they know aren’t capable of running it,is because apple doesn’t want people to jailbreak and enjoy there powerful device to it’s truest potential.It’s upsetting,but typical apple.Get an android phone kiddies.It’s more advanced,but it won’t kill you to grow some brain cells that apple killed.

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  6. Still on iOS 6 on my iPhone 5. I don’t like the new UI. It’s unfortunate to be stuck with an old version of Safari but that’s life.

    As for planned obsolescence, check out the first iPad model. That certainly was orphaned quickly.

  7. I don’t think any apple costumers mind that they want to make a profit, but forcing your existing costumers to pay a few hundred bucks every few years (by making a product unusable, not in terms of subscriptions obviously) is just nasty business practice. Assuming it’s true of course. But then, as long as people keep coming back for more, you can only blame the costumers themselves. As you say, they are in the business of making money, and morals aren’t high on the list of priorities of most highly profitable companies.

  8. Whether I believe the bad performance is intentional I agree that performqnce crashes after 2± significant updates. As an iPhone 4 user starting iOS7, maybe 6 the performance was alreafy not to my liking but on whatever is the most recent OS its unbearably slow. But for thr iPhone 4 at least it has mediocre hardware to back the bad performance. Single Core A4, 512MB of RAM. With every other newer SoC on Applr devicea Dual Cores it leaves the iPhone 4 out of things. That said the 4s has had a long run. Things wouldnt be problematic if apple allowed users to downgrade their OS

  9. Point is that majority of people dont come to this problem, since they upgrade as soon as their contract allows them to. I would say that over 90% of the people upgrading their iphones dont actually need to do so.

    But what it does is keeping lots of people with brand new phones, the ones that buy a older version second hand isnt very important to apple, sure they put money into itunes but they dont buy the apple product that puts money into their pocket. They good for giving apple advertising because they use the product but they not ideal consumers.
    So that apple can do this kind of stuff most of the time with no problems, in this case they finally been taken to court for it so now its just to wait and see what happens.
    Ky grandparents sadly had a phone salesman selling them two version 4, so I just hope that they dont press yes to any update they get, but they tend not to since they dont know what it is (I told them a good old android phone would have been better and cheaper for them)

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