Apple hit with lawsuit over sluggish iOS 9 performance on older devices

iOS 9 slow on older devicesJokes apart, but the fact that Apple and lawsuits go way back is as true as it can get. From Kodak, Nokia and Department of Justice of The U.S to three Chinese companies amongst others, Apple has been sued for things as weird as the glass building of its stores and as serious as race and gender discrimination.

But the latest one is over the recent software update offered by Apple. The iOS 9 upgrade that was released for all its devices, old and new, apparently “interfered with the normal usage of the device”. The claim was filed by some iPhone 4s users who feel that the upgrade made their device significantly slow.

There have been times when the iOS upgrades were rolled out with respect to the age of devices. But often, the older devices could not enjoy the new features. This time that Apple did not leave out anybody, not all seem to approve of this.

iOS 9 poor performance on older devices

The lawsuit says that according to them, the app ecosystem of Apple and the ease of migration lead to an inclination to buy a newer iPhone. Thus, Apple could be financially benefitted due to all this. The assertions also include that the company did not warn users of potential headaches that must have been known to it from internal testing or other means.

When iPhone 4s owners are faced with the dilemma of continuing to use a slow, buggy phone or spend hundreds to buy a new phone, Apple often benefits because consumers will often buy a new iPhone to keep their investment in the App ecosystem.

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A person having decent knowledge about the working of technology and software is bound to find this absurd. A newer software slowing down an old device is no scarce output. But the people, who claimed this lawsuit, do not seem to belong to this community. To them, the company could not keep the promises kept and falsely advertised the features of this upgrade. This lawsuit, currently, can cause the company a loss of $5 million in damages, as the accusers seek. And if the lawsuit continues, this group of people can expand exponentially, considering the enormous count of users of devices like iPhone 4s, or lower.

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The company soon released the iOS 9.1 update, which seemingly fixes some of the major bugs faced by the users, but as they say, the damage has already been done. An option to downgrade to the older OS might not seem like that bad a choice now to Tim Cook and his team.


  1. No, there is absolutely no technical reason for which a newer software should run poorly on an older device. This holds in general, and even more so on smartphones, where most user-visible changes are in the user interface or other performance-unrelated areas.

    A side note and lesson. This is your first article I read, and I don’t know how much of a great tech news expert/follower/blogger you might be, however that contributes zero to software and hardware development knowledge – which in your case, is clearly inadequate to give a technical judgement. There is a reason software is not developed by journalists or bloggers.

    • Well, a newly developed OS is created keeping in mind more recent generation of devices. They expect more RAM and are heavier.
      And the difference in specifications of devices comprises these technical factors as well apart from the “user interface or other performance-unrelated areas” which are visible to the user.
      So, the demands of the upgrade overwhelm the older hardware, which is one of the reasons why they start lagging.

      Also, though this is my first article, I might not really be as inadequate as you think; since the bloggers on this website are associated with the technical industry themselves. And, some of us are developers as well.


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