Get ready to hear the phrase “iBrick” more times than you ever wanted to. IPhone 3G owner Bianca Wofford is saying that’s exactly what the iOS 4.0 upgrade did to her phone. Not only that, but Wofford is alleging that Apple conspired to eliminate older versions of the iPhone with the upgrade, encouraging users to buy the iPhone 4.
When iOS 4 was released, Wofford upgraded her iPhone 3G to the platform – and there was no turning back, as Apple does not allow its users to “downgrade” systems, another sticking point Wofford has with the company. The upgrade gave her a phone with a fraction of its former functionality and caused it to repeatedly crash. As she stated through her lawyer, “The true fact of the matter…is that the iOS 4 is a substantial ‘downgrade’ for earlier iPhone devices and renders many of them virtually useless ‘iBricks.’”
Wofford should really trademark that word, because she’s definitely not the only one lodging this complaint. Apple’s discussion boards have been brimming with similar criticisms from users for months, all concluding that the iOS 4 is simply incompatible with older versions of the iPhone. Not as many people have indicated that they were tricked by Apple, however – something Wofford’s lawyer made a point to get across. “What better way to underhandedly create incentive to purchase a newer product than by essentially rendering an earlier product useless by the false promise of a software upgrade.”
It’s difficult to accept that Apple intentionally marketed a product that would, in essence, destroy its iPhones – but it’s equally hard to believe that a technical error of such magnitude is possible. IOS 4 was designed to alleviate the issues users were having with previous platforms, Jobs even promised it would.
If found guilty, Apple will have to award $5,000 to all affected users – but the odds of this being settled out of court for an undisclosed amount are pretty good.