Why this iPhone 3G Lawsuit is Bogus

I have been hit up on Twitter and Email about my comments earlier on this iPhone 3G lawsuit.

Here is what it boils down to if anybody read what I linked to. Jacqui Cheng:

Wofford believes that Apple did this all to leave iPhone 3G users with unusable phones, forcing them to upgrade to the newly released iPhone 4. What’s unclear is whether Wofford attempted to go to an Apple Store or call AppleCare for help on her issue before filing the lawsuit. Regardless, she accuses Apple of engaging in false advertising and unfair competition, and wants the court to give her (and other class members) restitution and damages.

I do not deny that the iPhone 3G’s experience problems under iOS 4.0, but as The Wall Street Journal puts it:

The most common criticism is that the phone is slow after an upgrade. There are also many complaints that the phone drains the battery quickly and becomes excessively hot. Concern about general problems such as slowness and battery life on gadgets isn’t unusual, but using iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G seems to make the problems so bad that the phone is nearly unusable for some people. -Jennifer Valentino-DeVries

Ok so let’s recap:

  1. Suing Apple because Apple is “forcing them to upgrade to…the iPhone 4″.
  2. Actual problems are slowness and battery drain, while some people’s claim it is unuseable.

So why do I think this is bogus? Because the lawsuit is arguing that Apple knowingly did this to try and spur iPhone 4 sales, and that they falsely advertised the iOS 4 update. Yet:

From the beginning, Apple explained that there would not be feature parity between the older iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4. The iPhone 3G has a 412MHz processor versus the 600MHz processor of the 3GS, and a paltry 128MB of RAM versus 256MB on the 3GS and 512MB on the iPhone 4. And remember, one of the selling features of the 3GS was indeed the handset’s speed improvements over the older 3G. -Jeff Smykil

Then Apple released iOS 4.1 which solved most of the real problems and did as much as software could given the hardware present in the now 2.5 year old iPhone 3G. Had Apple truly wanted to force users to upgrade to iPhone 4s wouldn’t they have just not allowed iPhone 3G users to update to iOS 4 at all? Why would they try to cripple it and put themselves at legal risk?

They wouldn’t. Apple gave iPhone 3G users a free update, it was no good so they did their best to fix it. Now they are being accused of doing it on purpose. If I was Steve Jobs I would stop allowing old iPhones to upgrade to the new OS for free, just like in the good old days before the iPhone came out.

In no way am I trying to say that people shouldn’t sue or that they shouldn’t be upset about this. They should be. What I am saying is that this group led by Biana Wofford is off base – they should be suing for degraded performance without proper recourse. Yet I am willing to bet that if you go to an Apple store and complain enough you will get proper recourse, if you don’t then you can sue. Suing should be a last resort, never a first option.

Originally posted for members on: November 3, 2010
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