Should we sue Apple for not allowing downgrading iOS devices?

olduser007

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 3, 2017
46
48
Hi everyone,

Couple years ago I bought an iPad2 64GB 3G iPad for about €900,-
Today i'm running iOS 9.3.5 and it's complete utter crap on the iPad2.
This iPad is only used for browsing the web and Netflix. Nothing extreme or fancy basically.

Apple prevents users from downgrading but this could turn iOS devices unusable after updating.
I feel we should be allowed to downgrade. I also think Apple shouldn't keep that from happening.
(especially when a device has been too far upgraded to the point that it becomes unstable).

Apple these days only seems to be responding to lawsuits unfortunately...

I'm wondering how many people are facing the same problem with their devices from Apple.
Lets use this thread to see how many people wanna join a lawsuit, forcing Apple to help out their customers. (let me know from which country you are as well)

PS. I'm sorry in advance for all the Apple spies aka members on this forum twisting and downplaying negative stories about Apple and Apple devices.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,601
9,214
Prescott Valley, AZ
This has been a hot-button issue for me since the release of iOS 7. Since we are in the smallest of minorities in our opinion on this (an overwhelming majority don't mind or actually prefer a "forced march"(*) to upgrade), I have resigned myself to "going with the flow" until it no longer makes sense for me to do so... and then I'll move on to other devices.

* I refer to it as a "forced march" because of Apple's heavy-handed method of reminding users that an update is available. "Install Now" or "Remind me Later" are the only options... "Don't update" is not one of those.

Apple has a financial incentive to prevent people from downgrading. Some may claim that there are legitimate issues like device security that are good reasons to upgrade. What they fail to acknowledge is that not all iOS devices out in the wild can upgrade to the latest version and therefore they are as vulnerable as those who refuse to upgrade.

They'll claim that "fragmentation" would cause developers to not develop to the latest version. Similar to the security issue.

As an individual customer, the only influence we have is our money. If we don't like what Apple is doing, sending an email to Tim Cook is not going to be anywhere near as effective as taking our money elsewhere. A near-trillion dollar company is not going to miss our drop-in-the-ocean and so by moving on we end up getting an alternative that will serve our needs better.

I own a lot of Apple products. Most of them will be the last of those form-factors given the direction that Apple is going in.
I don't say that with an malice or ill-will. It's just a fact. Until then, I'll enjoy and use them to the capacity that they serve me, but should Apple do nothing different, when it is time to replace those devices, they'll be from companies other than Apple.
 
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Booji

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2011
650
361
Tokyo
I agree with sracer. As much as we would like to keep our old devices, technology marches on. It has traditionally been a big advantage of Apple to minimize fragmentation and ensure a consistent development environment.

Only recently, Microsoft took the initiative force everyone to Windows 10 and yes it was a lot of pain.

Standards are changing so fast now, we should not be too tied down to backwards compatibility. That said, I think Apple does best in extending the life of its older tech with current OS. Just ask any Android user that buy gear and get one upgrade cycle and that's it.
 
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BrianBaughn

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
6,787
1,102
Baltimore, Maryland
OP: Have you checked to see if there are any existing lawsuits you can join? It's not a new idea.

sracer: Please let us know which great tablet devices we can get that can:
  1. Be downgraded if the upgraded OS is not to our liking, and then
  2. Be run securely
I think early adopters have a legitimate beef. Our original iPad runs iOS 5 and is virtually useless. However, six years after the release of the iPad 2 the precedent has been set on what you can expect from an iPad.
 
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Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,703
8,324
UK
OP: Have you checked to see if there are any existing lawsuits you can join? It's not a new idea.

sracer: Please let us know which great tablet devices we can get that can:
  1. Be downgraded if the upgraded OS is not to our liking, and then
  2. Be run securely
I think early adopters have a legitimate beef. Our original iPad runs iOS 5 and is virtually useless. However, six years after the release of the iPad 2 the precedent has been set on what you can expect from an iPad.
I think any android tablet fulfils the first criteria. Whether an android tablet is secure is a matter of opinion. Maybe if you only download apps for the play store and stick to mainstream apps and are using a flagship tablet form the last 2 years or so you would probably be safe.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,601
9,214
Prescott Valley, AZ
OP: Have you checked to see if there are any existing lawsuits you can join? It's not a new idea.

sracer: Please let us know which great tablet devices we can get that can:
  1. Be downgraded if the upgraded OS is not to our liking, and then
  2. Be run securely
I think early adopters have a legitimate beef. Our original iPad runs iOS 5 and is virtually useless. However, six years after the release of the iPad 2 the precedent has been set on what you can expect from an iPad.
No need for the snark and sarcasm. If you are content with how Apple does things then I have no desire to convince you otherwise. Rock on.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
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I don't think this will actually work because apple owns the software. They can do whatever they feel like with it. Plus for a company, supporting legacy software is a huge nightmare. It's best for both the company and the users to move forward. You won't be able to force any company to keep supporting older devices. If your device gets attacked then you won't be able to point fights at the company.

Also, apple is the only company that supports devices for this long. Compare it with android and you'll see where you stand. If you don't want to upgrade to the latest version that's your choice but by law Apple needs to let you know that your device is at risk and they want the best for the consumers in this case.
 
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ibookg409

Suspended
Apr 20, 2016
613
7,554
Portsmouth, NH
We can't sue people that easily in the UK, maybe they can in Europe. I don't know, we are very reserved in the UK and we have a put up and shut up attitude which is why the idea of suing people seems alien to me.
It seems like being "beaten down" is familiar to you. Too bad.

We should be able to have the ability to downgrade if we choose. I'm not sure suing is the correct way to go about it.
 
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olduser007

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 3, 2017
46
48
I personally don't care about these "look at Android based devices" responses.
I'm an Apple user and like to keep using my Apple devices for as long as possible.
I don't complain about other companies products as I'm not using their products.

The "what about security!" responses also make little sense:
A. Being stuck on an previous OS with no future updates makes it still vulnerable.
B. Security updates aren't the reason why older devices become unusably slow.

And just for the record... Fighting Apple over these thing in court isn't my style either.
It's that big companies only respond when they got something to loose.
I, like others, feel that we're loosing investments because Apple is limiting the lifespan.
While €900,- maybe peanuts for some, for most people in the world it's a lot of money.

Apple's marketing is all about going green but it looks in cases like these they're doing the total opposite.
 
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BrianBaughn

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
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The "what about security!" responses also make little sense:
A. Being stuck on an previous OS with no future updates makes it still vulnerable.
B. Security updates aren't the reason why older devices become unusably slow.
Those are both true. But we don't know if an older device on an older OS version can even be made "secure" with some sort of minor, non-"performance debilitating" update. There's probably someone here that could tell us why it can't happen.
 
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rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
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Those are both true. But we don't know if an older device on an older OS version can even be made "secure" with some sort of minor, non-"performance debilitating" update. There's probably someone here that could tell us why it can't happen.
Technically, I can't think of a reason why not. They did release an iOS 6 update for devices that didn't support iOS 7 for the SSL bug back in 2014 so I guess it just depends on the severity of the problem.

Why won't Apple do it? Because providing security updates for older firmware would cost them more money and resources.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
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Lawsuits just cost everyone money and only make money for lawyers. I say this as an attorney. The nature of all tech today is that it's short lived. I have a 2005-era HDTV with DVI in my office. With an HDMI converter boxe I managed to get ATV4 working. Roku was a no-go. It has an analog tuner so an antenna is useless too.

I could go on for a very long time about tech I bought 5 years ago that is effectively obsolete and unsupported today. That is tech. It's not your grandma's stove. The only thing trying to hack that was maybe a midnight mouse. And the tech of stoves really did not evolve much for decades, just the styling.

So basically tech is "pay to play." I know a lot of people erroneously thing buying something is an "investment," especially when they go for the top end model to "future proof." But that's not how it works. A depreciating asset is never an investment and no model no matter where it is in the price tier is "future proof." It all has a very short life span. The best way to deal with it is to sell your tech while you can get $ out of it and let someone else have the burden of figuring out what to do with an effectively obsolete iPad or phone or computer or remote.

Personally, I sell my expensive tech after 1 to 1.5 years and buy the newest model. Then I can enjoy the latest and never have to deal with the headache older, less supported models bring.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,601
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Prescott Valley, AZ
Technically, I can't think of a reason why not. They did release an iOS 6 update for devices that didn't support iOS 7 for the SSL bug back in 2014 so I guess it just depends on the severity of the problem.

Why won't Apple do it? Because providing security updates for older firmware would cost them more money and resources.
It's not a technical reason. That iOS 6 update is a great example. ONLY those devices that weren't supported in iOS 7 were allowed to apply that iOS 6 update. If your device was at iOS 6 at the time (even though it was supported by iOS 7) you had no choice but to update to iOS 7 if you wanted the fix for the SSL bug.
 
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There's a big difference between hardware obsolescence and software obsolescence. When hardware "moves on" like Chupa Chupa's DVI HDTV example, there is not much that can be done. In a software issue like this, I think we all know that if the issue at hand was possible, our old iDevices would "feel" like they are as fast as they were when they were new. I think we all must believe to some level that part of iOS upgrades is building in code to make older iDevices feel slower. Else, how else do we explain it?

OP for example says his uses are web browsing and Netflix. Is either significantly more intensive than when his iPad 2 was new? No. So why the perceived slow down? Does that mean iOS software upgrades are increasingly clunky? The chip in that iPad 2 doesn't degrade in speed over time. This is not a relative speed comparison where OP is comparing the latest iPad hardware vs. iPad 2 hardware... just remembering how fast it ran when it had it's original version of iOS vs. how slow it seems with a newer version.

Conceptually, newer versions of iOS are more refined & more efficient.... and that implies that newer versions should run even more efficiently than older versions. However, in practice, an "upgrade" in version number(s) sometimes means a "downgrade" in performance, even if it is in the mundane of browsing web pages or watching Netflix. Why? A conspiracy theorist would imagine that iOS has lots of switch code that purposely builds delays in for older hardware, creating his sense of older hardware running slower while doing the same tasks. Why? To sell users on buying newer hardware. How would a non-conspiracy theorist explain this effect?
 
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bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
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I guess its worth a shot if you get enough people. I'm no legal expert but it seems to me that Apple's lawyers can get this thrown out pretty easily. I'm sure there is a line about this in the agreement you agree to when you install new software or set up a new device.
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
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I personally don't care about these "look at Android based devices" responses.
I'm an Apple user and like to keep using my Apple devices for as long as possible.
I don't complain about other companies products as I'm not using their products.

The "what about security!" responses also make little sense:
A. Being stuck on an previous OS with no future updates makes it still vulnerable.
B. Security updates aren't the reason why older devices become unusably slow.

And just for the record... Fighting Apple over these thing in court isn't my style either.
It's that big companies only respond when they got something to loose.
I, like others, feel that we're loosing investments because Apple is limiting the lifespan.
While €900,- maybe peanuts for some, for most people in the world it's a lot of money.

Apple's marketing is all about going green but it looks in cases like these they're doing the total opposite.
How in god's name did you spend 900 on an iPad 2, a device that is nearly six years old, just a "couple" of years ago?

The iPad 2 is dramatically under powered compared to a modern device, that's why it's slow.
 
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burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
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1,529
It seems like being "beaten down" is familiar to you. Too bad.

We should be able to have the ability to downgrade if we choose. I'm not sure suing is the correct way to go about it.
Beaten down? Thanks for the laugh.
Can anybody reference an article that pinpoints in IOS source code where these hooks are and how this is designed to force users to upgrade as a programming goal? I remember Microsoft being famous for this behavior. My opinion is the speed of hardware/software development since the first iPad, plus a bit of good old capitalism is likely. Also since there are vectors of malware not dreamed or possible of 3 years ago I'm quite happy with regular required updates, but again IMHO. For liability/financial reasons I doubt many companies or especially developers would want to allow software with known unpatchable vulnerabilities to remain in use, or spend the time supporting them.
 
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joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
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I think that the no downgrading is an example of Apple's 'protect users from themselves' mentality. They always know what's best. ;)
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,601
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Prescott Valley, AZ
Beaten down? Thanks for the laugh.
Can anybody reference an article that pinpoints in IOS source code where these hooks are and how this is designed to force users to upgrade as a programming goal? I remember Microsoft being famous for this behavior. My opinion is the speed of hardware/software development since the first iPad, plus a bit of good old capitalism is likely. Also since there are vectors of malware not dreamed or possible of 3 years ago I'm quite happy with regular required updates, but again IMHO. For liability/financial reasons I doubt many companies or especially developers would want to allow software with known unpatchable vulnerabilities to remain in use, or spend the time supporting them.
If you're looking for a segment of source code that has a comment, "// this procedure ensures that older processors run slower than necessary" then you're not going to find it.

Nobody is advocating that Apple not provide updates, but simply give the CUSTOMER the option of whether they want to upgrade, downgrade, or stay at the current level. I understand that "customer choice" is anathema to the Apple ethos, but that's what some (very few) of us would like.

A few things that would help...

A. Stop nagging that an iOS update is available. Inform the user that one is available. Offer the option to "Install Now", "Remind me Later", "Don't remind me for this update" (the answer is only effective for that specific version of iOS) "Don't remind me" would also clear the notification flag.

B. Provide an option to downgrade to a previous version of iOS. Require the same level of confirmation as wiping out the device. Pop up as many warnings as Apple deems necessary to inform the user that: (a) potential security risks, (b) potential loss of features, (c) potential loss of application access.

C. Provide a "Check for update" option that would display to the user the latest available version of iOS for that device.
 
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rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,157
4,123
Nobody is advocating that Apple not provide updates, but simply give the CUSTOMER the option of whether they want to upgrade, downgrade, or stay at the current level. I understand that "customer choice" is anathema to the Apple ethos, but that's what some (very few) of us would like.
Do wish options were available for older devices.

That said, considering the processing power available on current iOS devices, the forced updates would be less of an issue, I think. Imho, the iPad 4 on iOS 9 and 10 is faring much better compared to the iPad 2 on iOS 8 and 9. The Air 2 only has barely perceptible stutters almost three years after initial release.
 
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