The main issue, according to plaintiff Chaim Lerman and other iPhone 4S customers, is that Apple crippled the smartphone’s performance after upgrading to iOS 9. More specifically, after upgrading to iOS 9, Lerman and the other plaintiffs noticed a sharp decrease in performance in third-party apps and Apple’s own applications, such as the Phone app.
Apple’s website for iOS 9 advertises “faster performance, improved security, convenient updates, and longer battery life.”
As evidence for the latter, the lawsuit points to Apple’s website for iOS 9, which advertises “faster performance, improved security, convenient updates, and longer battery life.” Furthering the point is the plaintiffs’ accusation that Apple must have known about the iPhone 4S’ slower performance on iOS 9, yet didn’t warn owners about such a pitfall. According to the plaintiffs, Apple stands to financially benefit from not warning iPhone 4S owners due to customers readily upgrading to a newer iPhone when given a choice.
In short, the plaintiffs accuse Apple of planned obsolescence, a policy where companies knowingly design products that become non-functional over a set period of time.
Lerman and the more than 100 other plaintiffs are asking over $5 million in damages, with an option to treble, which triples the amount being asked for. No hearings have been set, with New York District Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. presiding over the case.
Unfortunately for the suing party, a previous 2011 lawsuit regarding planned obsolescence and the iOS 4 update for the iPhone 3G was thrown out by the judge. In that case, the judge ruled that iOS 4 was not a good or a service, while also dismissing claims of false advertising and deceptive business practices. In other words, while time has certainly passed and the current case does have a different judge presiding over it, history is not on the plaintiffs’ side.