Nikita Richardson
December 31, 2015 5:41 am

Just hours after settling a tax-related lawsuit with authorities in Italy (for an estimated $350 million), it looks like Apple has jumped from the frying pan and into the fire.

On Monday, the multi-billion dollar tech company was slapped with a $5 million class-action lawsuit, alleging that the Silicon Valley stalwart purposely crippled its iPhone 4s smartphones through the iOS 9 software update.

According to plaintiff Chris Lerman, the iOS 9 update drastically and negatively affected the performance of older iPhones, making them sluggish and prone to crashes. And since users are unable to downgrade their software—say from iOS 9 to iOS 7—they are ultimately forced to choose between using a frustratingly slow iPhone or spending serious dough on an iPhone 5 or 6. After all, the Apple model works best when users, new and old, scramble to buy the latest models.

In some cases, these allegations would amount to little more than “business as usual” for a massive tech company and would not warrant a civil case, but according to Mr. Lerman—and more than 100 other claimants—Apple was fully aware that the iOS 9 update made its older models borderline inoperable yet continued to advertise iOS 9 as a game-changing improvement for all iPhone users regardless of what model they owned.

As AppleInsiders points out, the A9 processing chips in the iPhone 6 and 6s are far more advanced than the A5 processing chips found in the iPhone 4s. So, it figures that the iOS 9 software update developed for iPhone 6’s and their advanced chip technology will not work nearly as well with older models. Plaintiff Lerman says Apple needs to be more transparent about these significant differences in technology.  

His case is will go before a judge in a New York court, but no court date has been set. Meanwhile, Apple has chosen to remain mum on the issue in what’s turned out to be a not-so-good day for the tech company.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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