updated 04:50 pm EDT, Wed November 3, 2010
Overly difficult to rollback to earlier firmware?
A new lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California for San Diego, accuses Apple of intentionally crippling the iPhone 3G in order to push people into buying the iPhone 4. When iOS 4 was released it was marketed as compatible with the 3G, albeit in a form missing key features like multitasking. People began complaining of buggy and lethargic performance as well, however, issues not witnessed by owners of the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Biana Wofford, claims that Apple knew updating a 3G to iOS 4 would render it a "device with little more use than that of a paper weight." She also argues that it is unreasonably difficult to roll back to an earlier version of iOS. "Even though Apple has actual knowledge of thousands of complaints from iPhone 3G/3GS consumers, Apple does not allow for those same users/consumers of third generation devices to download and re-install earlier and optimized iOS3.x operating system without resorting to 'hacker' tactics that will void Apple warranties and violate iPhone user agreements," the complaint reads.
Specific charges include false advertising and unfair competition. The case is being pursued as a class action, with demand for restitution and damages as penalties. Apple has tried to address problems with the iPhone 3G in later firmware updates, but not with complete success.