Frustration with the “graying out” of some Apple iPhones when their operating systems are updated culminated this week with the filing of a proposed class action and an outpouring of supportive tweets, all sending the message that iPhone users are fed up.
The object of the wrath is the alleged dysfunction that develops when the latest version of the devices’ mobile operating system, or iOS, is downloaded into the iPhone4, 4s and 5.
Upon installing iOS7, which was released after much promotion by Apple in June 2013, users can find their Bluetooth and WiFi connections become unusable, as with, for instance, the option to press to turn on Wi-Fi turning gray and unresponsive, according to the class complaint filed on April 29 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
That, in turn, poses security and iCloud data backup issues, barriers to accessing some large apps, and substantial charges for service that was often free with Wi-Fi, according to Yastrab v. Apple Inc. The company released an updated iOS7.1 in March but users said the problems remain.
Plaintiff David Yastrab, a New York resident, asserted that he performed the steps Apple suggested to remedy the glitches, but to no avail. He also went to two Apple stores for help for his iPhone4s. Ultimately, Yastrab said he was told by Apple that he should just purchase a new device.
Instead, he filed the lawsuit, which accuses Apple of misrepresenting and falsely advertising the capability of the phones. Illustrating how widespread the problem is, and how frustrated users are, his 40-page complaint contained almost nine pages of gripes from an online Apple support board. News of the lawsuit was met with thousands of tweets demonstrating users’ support.
The complaint accuses Apple of violating California consumer and business codes, engaging in breach of express warranty, and committing intentional and negligent misrepresentation. The plaintiffs want compensatory damages and injunctive relief.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys are Shawn Williams, Samuel Rudman, Mark Reich and Lauren Karalis, of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, San Francisco and Melville, N.Y.
Lisa Hoffman contributes to law.com.