iPhone 4S owners file suit against Apple, claim iOS 9 made phones unbearably slow

By Shawn Knight
Dec 30, 2015
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  1. pple is on the receiving end of a class-action lawsuit from disgruntled iPhone 4s owners. The suit, filed by Chaim Lerman and more than 100 others, alleges Apple's iOS 9 update severely degraded the smartphone's performance both in terms of third-party apps and core functionality.

    Lerman blames Apple for not warning users that the update would slow their phones to the point that it "disrupts everyday life." The complaint points to a section on Apple's website in which iOS 9 promises faster performance, improved security, convenient updates and longer battery life.

    Without the option to roll back the update, the suit says iPhone 4s owners must either deal with a slow phone or shell out hundreds of dollars for a newer, faster iPhone in order to maintain their investment in Apple's app ecosystem. Plaintiffs are seeking more than $5 million in damages.

    Lerman's argument isn't without merit as it is more or less common knowledge - at least, among technology enthusiasts - that older hardware struggles with newer software. In the case of iOS 9 (or Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Windows 10), the new software is optimized to run on the latest hardware and handle content that's far more complicated than what was around several years ago.

    It's the same reason your 10-year-old computer seems to run much slower today than it did when it was brand new, even with a fresh OS install. The processor, RAM and graphics card didn't slow down - it's simply having to work harder to run today's complex programs and content.

    Some have labeled this phenomenon as planned obsolescence, accusing Apple of intentionally making older phones perform slower so users will be more inclined to buy a new device. It's not the first time the company has been sued over the matter and it probably won't be the last. It'll ultimately be up for a judge to decide in this instance but at the very least, Apple and others could - and probably should - do a better job of conveying the fact that new software doesn't always jibe with old hardware.

    Lead image courtesy AnandTech

    Permalink to story.

  2. Flebbert

    Flebbert TS Rookie

    Lol, little bit funny. I had both the 4 and 4s from work which were horribly slow out of the box new...... Wonder if I can have some money
    DaveBG and trgz like this.
  3. GreenArrow

    GreenArrow TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +23

    If you do get money have fun with you $1.23 .
    Callanish likes this.
  4. Rieksfier

    Rieksfier TS Rookie

    I'm surprised people are still using the 4 or 4s. I thought the whole point of owning an Apple device was to stand in front of an Apple store in sub zero temperatures waiting to buy the next version the moment it is released.

    Not to mention everyone I see nowadays is missing multiple chunks of glass from the casing and would probably fillet the skin off your fingers as you Slide to Unlock©®™℗
    Steve, Auth3ntic0, wastedkill and 2 others like this.
  5. Callanish

    Callanish TS Rookie

    .....that older hardware struggles with newer software. In the case of iOS 9 (or Android 6.0 Marshmallow )

    That's not the case for Marshmallow. The 2013 Nexus 7 tablet is like a new machine with Marshmallow and you'll find that any Android device that's upgraded to Marshmallow is actually faster and more efficient.
    Auth3ntic0, alabama man and trgz like this.
  6. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,599   +411

    2 and 3 year contracts....
  7. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 488   +122

    Comparing how a tablet from 2013 that was already high spec for it's year and price point vs a phone from 2011 that was already tech wise behind android flagships coming out is not proving much. I am not a huge apple guy but apple added a lot more into ios since 2011 compared to androids last 3 releases.
  8. marktherob2011

    marktherob2011 TS Rookie

    I have a previous version IPOD that is utter crap now that it can not run past IOS 6 and all the new apps are IOS or above. I siply use it for an alarm clock and a music player.
    ladono, Auth3ntic0 and trgz like this.
  9. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 271   +127

    Or they could do what the Android ecosystem does and set a cap for the software version on older models of iPhones.

    That way this issue wouldn't happen. But nope, holding [old] hardware for ransom with new software is the Apple way of forcing new sales.
  10. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Guru Posts: 735   +259

    They do. But this time they thought what better way to persuade such people to upgrade than to put a software update on it that would make it annoying enough to do so.

    Otherwise, I'm sure you can revert back, but not through normal means. Just will take a bit more of a tecky to do so...
  11. JamesandBennie

    JamesandBennie TS Booster Posts: 162   +14

    I never upgrade my OS. We learned this "slow down" issue long ago with the 3Gs. I get a new OS when I get a new phone. I do point releases, but NEVER a full.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    If they're stupid enough to do that, burn city.
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    Why the hell are Apple still supporting such an old and decrepit model anyway?
  14. teddy

    teddy TS Rookie Posts: 57

    Ios 9 just got a tiny bit more open for the user, right ? I guess that is the punishment for giving power to the people.
  15. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +35

    Windows 7 made my Zeos 386SX so slow that it takes me almost 4hrs just to load Netscape. Thanks alot Zeos. Now I am going to be forced into an upgrade.
    Whltng likes this.
  16. marktherob2011

    marktherob2011 TS Rookie

    Apple is notorious for trying to squeeze more $$$$$ out of users
    Auth3ntic0 and DaveBG like this.
  17. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 212   +72

    LOL, I hope the people win in this. Not because I feel sorry for them - after all they deserved it for buying that overpriced crap but so that apple suffers.
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  18. Thomotron

    Thomotron TS Rookie

    They already have. I'm unsure why they're allowing the 4S to run iOS 9, but the 3GS was capped at iOS 6.1.6.
  19. mctommy

    mctommy TS Booster Posts: 188   +30

    $5Mil is a minuscule drop in a humongous bucket for apple... setting the precedence though, that's priceless.
  20. OmniUni

    OmniUni TS Rookie

    The only thing I want to take objection to is your note about Windows 10 and Android 6. Microsoft and Google have both taken performance seriously in their latest releases. Android 6 performs closer to 4.4 than to either of the 5.x releases. Windows 10 performs better than Windows 8 or 7 did. For both systems, this includes performance on older devices.
  21. CharlesM

    CharlesM TS Rookie

    From Zeos to Zero!
  22. OortCloud

    OortCloud TS Booster Posts: 113   +27

    Less about the 'new OS'es always more demanding than old...

    I upgraded an old 1.6Ghz Centrino dual core laptop from the nastiness that was Windows Vista 32 bit to the loveliness that is Windows 10 64 bit. It runs beautifully now, way better than it ever did under Vista - all hardware found and detected - a perfectly good little machine again. I was so impressed with how well it was running I put an old SSD I had lying around in it and got some some second hand RAM and upgraded to 4GB, now its even better. :)
  23. HashMAster9000

    HashMAster9000 TS Rookie

    Nope, not unless this class action lawsuit forces Apple to allow for the downgrading of Firmware on devices after the firmware signing window has passed, or allows it for older devices. After Apple drops a new iOS, you have about a month to do anything you need to with the previous version of the software before iTunes will no longer restore to that version and mandate that you upgrade.

    It sucks (especially for Jailbreakers), and I think shouldn't be allowed, mainly because of legit problems like this. There is a kind of work around, but to downgrade with the workaround, you need to run an SHSH pull on the firmware's signature with a on again/off again supported program called TinyUmbrella to fake a server authorization signature from iTunes. Oh, and if you you didn't pull that signature during the signing window when it was released? You're SOL. And it only just started working with iOS 9.

    So there ya go. Not as easy as one might think, hence why this lawsuit is actually a good thing.
    Whltng likes this.
  24. Carlos Kingston

    Carlos Kingston TS Rookie

    Did you set it up for maximum performance ie turn off all the visual stuff? It's default setting of "Let Windows decide what is best for my computer" includes all but a couple of things. Clean install is also an option. I upgraded my laptop from 8.1 to 10 keeping everything and it turned into a turtle. Then factory reset (to 8) and upgraded immediately keeping nothing and now it's great.

    Linux might also be an option. I put it on an old laptop which works well except the learning curve is insane. It's the least intuitive software I've ever used and since it's just used for my kid surfing and me using GParted I've never bothered to learn how to use it properly.
  25. Guener

    Guener TS Rookie

    Still have my handy 4S, and, yes, it is slower with iOS9. Still, I'm happy to have a four year old device that does what I need, fits nicely in form and function in my day to day work, and will upgrade to something else when I need to do so or the thing dies. Annoyed enough to demand I'm compensated for reality? Ummmm.

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