Apple: You Can't Sue Us for Slowing Down Your iPhones Because We're "Contractors"

Megalith

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Apple is in the process of defending itself from a class-action lawsuit alleging they intentionally slowed down processors with an iOS update, but desperation appears to be growing based on their legal team’s newest defense on why they shouldn’t have to pay up. In what is described as a “bizarre” argument, lawyers say Apple is essentially a building contractor: a typical job (iPhone) may involve excessive destruction (degraded hardware), but initial consent (user agreeing to updates) pardons the contractor from such liabilities.

Apple is like a building contractor you hire to redo your kitchen, the tech giant has argued in an attempt to explain why it shouldn't have to pay customers for slowing down their iPhones. Addressing a bunch of people trying to sue it for damages, the iGiant's lawyers told a California court this month: "Plaintiffs are like homeowners who have let a building contractor into their homes to upgrade their kitchens, thus giving permission for the contractor to demolish and change parts of the houses." They went on: "Any claim that the contractor caused excessive damage in the process sounds in contract, not trespass."
 

bigdogchris

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The difference is, Apple, that in the real world you can choose your contractor.

Their analogy is better described as if you buy a house from us you can only have us handle repairs, and if we damage your kitchen during the repair, oh well.
 

Snowdensjacket

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Uber and lyft avoid the laws with this independent contractor stuff. So does Amazon. You guys love to cheer for those billionaires avoiding the law with this crap. This is just the next step in "they are independent contractor". You guys should be cheering this on.

I mean if you are not smart enough to read all of your TOS agreements before Apple ruins your phone that's on you as an individual. Don't like it don't buy the phone. Nobody is forcing you to buy the phone.
 

LurkerLito

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They should just use the same argument against Apple. "I hired them to repair the windows so that no unauthorized people could break into my house, I did not give them permission to make it so I had to wait 5 minutes anytime I wanted to open the doors to enter or exit rooms." If a contractor did that I'd be suing them because they weren't suppose to touch the doors inside my house.
 

mope54

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It's really unfortunate when people don't bother to read the thing they're gearing themselves to be so upset about...then we'll hear about all these inaccurate conclusions for the next twenty years every time Apple releases a new device :\

The claim is that Apple "trespassed" by installing this update on users' devices.
Apple's response is that the update can't be installed without user consent so this is just like any other contract dispute--it's just a regular dispute not a criminal one.
 

mope54

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Words cannot describe the absurdity of this argument.
Really? So you agree with the plaintiff's argument that installing OS updates OTA is trespassing and unauthorized access to computers?

Apple is saying if a contractor breaks all your stuff while doing something they're contracted to work on, they get sued for the damages instead of being hauled into jail for criminal trespass. That's an absurd argument to you?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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This argument is absurd, but really shouldn't be necessary.

They made a judgment call. They power throttled devices once their batteries were no longer able to keep up with the load, under the assumption that if users were forced to choose, they would prefer slower operation over random shutdowns and reboots. I think this assumption was correct.

And they were proven right, that it wasn't an attempt to sabotage older phones, because voila, when the battery was replaced, the phones functioned at full speed again.

Sure, they should have made it an option you can turn off if you want to, but in the grand scheme of things, this is a non issue.

I hate Apple, but I feel like in this case they made a good design decision in the interest of providing the best user experience, and conspiracy theorists are just freaking out over it for no reason.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Really? So you agree with the plaintiff's argument that installing OS updates OTA is trespassing and unauthorized access to computers?

Apple is saying if a contractor breaks all your stuff while doing something they're contracted to work on, they get sued for the damages instead of being hauled into jail for criminal trespass. That's an absurd argument to you?
Both arguments are stupid.
 

mope54

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Both arguments are stupid.
No, Apple's argument isn't stupid.

If you hire someone to work on your house and they break your door in the process, you have to sue them for the damages they caused. You can't claim they trespassed into your house to break the door. The same argument can be had over a mechanic who breaks the hood lever while changing your oil--he didn't trespass just because you didn't like what he did; you allowed him to be there in the first place.

Users allow Apple to install OS updates OTA. If something breaks in the process, they have to sue for those damages and not for trespassing onto your phone. That's really the only argument against the absurd claim that Apple is trespassing on people's devices with OTA updates.

They aren't saying they shouldn't be sued at all because of that, they are saying they can only be sued for damage related to the updates. They then go on to argue there are no damages claimed so they shouldn't be sued, but that's a completely separate claim they are raising.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I for one would like to see phone and operating system makers build in real kill switches in their devices and software.

As soon as an Operating System or Device no longer receives regular security updates, it is prevented from reaching the network.

No one should be using an old device or operating system that is no longer patched. No one.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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No, Apple's argument isn't stupid.

If you hire someone to work on your house and they break your door in the process, you have to sue them for the damages they caused. You can't claim they trespassed into your house to break the door. The same argument can be had over a mechanic who breaks the hood lever while changing your oil--he didn't trespass just because you didn't like what he did; you allowed him to be there in the first place.

Users allow Apple to install OS updates OTA. If something breaks in the process, they have to sue for those damages and not for trespassing onto your phone. That's really the only argument against the absurd claim that Apple is trespassing on people's devices with OTA updates.

They aren't saying they shouldn't be sued at all because of that, they are saying they can only be sued for damage related to the updates. They then go on to argue there are no damages claimed so they shouldn't be sued, but that's a completely separate claim they are raising.
Look, it's the argument they had to make make in response to a stupid complaint, but that doesn't make it any less stupid that this is the discourse that is being had on this subject.
 

Axehandler

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No, Apple's argument isn't stupid.

If you hire someone to work on your house and they break your door in the process, you have to sue them for the damages they caused. You can't claim they trespassed into your house to break the door. The same argument can be had over a mechanic who breaks the hood lever while changing your oil--he didn't trespass just because you didn't like what he did; you allowed him to be there in the first place.

Users allow Apple to install OS updates OTA. If something breaks in the process, they have to sue for those damages and not for trespassing onto your phone. That's really the only argument against the absurd claim that Apple is trespassing on people's devices with OTA updates.

They aren't saying they shouldn't be sued at all because of that, they are saying they can only be sued for damage related to the updates. They then go on to argue there are no damages claimed so they shouldn't be sued, but that's a completely separate claim they are raising.
Just curious... if you hired a contractor to do work. and they install camera's in your home or new locks (without consent/part of the contract) was that trespass?
 
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I for one would like to see phone and operating system makers build in real kill switches in their devices and software.

As soon as an Operating System or Device no longer receives regular security updates, it is prevented from reaching the network.

No one should be using an old device or operating system that is no longer patched. No one.
They should allow the user to put whatever they want on the hardware since they bought it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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They should allow the user to put whatever they want on the hardware since they bought it.
I would like this as well, I think locked bootloaders should be illegal.

That said, any OS placed on the device should either provide regular security updates or disable itself. If it disables itself, flash another OS.
 

cattix

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Serves them right, I mean anybody who willingly gives money to Apple for inferior overpriced products should not be at all suprised by this. "You paid for it and now we are going to deliberately destroy YOUR property by slowing it down AND you are going to like it AND you are going to buy new cr*p from us so we can do it all again!". Yea, serves them right.

Oh btw, their "argument" is pure undistilled steaming bs.
 

zehoo

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Plaintiffs are like homeowners who have let a building contractor into their homes to upgrade their kitchens, thus giving permission for the contractor to demolish and change parts of the houses.
It's more like the contractor comes in and changes the taps in the kitchen sink from high flow taps to "water saving" low flow taps without permission when all you had paid them for was to polish the taps.
 

mope54

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It's more like the contractor comes in and changes the taps in the kitchen sink from high flow taps to "water saving" low flow taps without permission when all you had paid them for was to polish the taps.
Yeah, that's true. But would you sue that contractor for civil damages within a contract dispute or would you call the police and try to get them arrested for criminal trespass?
 

Qthulu

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No, Apple's argument isn't stupid.

If you hire someone to work on your house and they break your door in the process, you have to sue them for the damages they caused. You can't claim they trespassed into your house to break the door. The same argument can be had over a mechanic who breaks the hood lever while changing your oil--he didn't trespass just because you didn't like what he did; you allowed him to be there in the first place.

Users allow Apple to install OS updates OTA. If something breaks in the process, they have to sue for those damages and not for trespassing onto your phone. That's really the only argument against the absurd claim that Apple is trespassing on people's devices with OTA updates.

They aren't saying they shouldn't be sued at all because of that, they are saying they can only be sued for damage related to the updates. They then go on to argue there are no damages claimed so they shouldn't be sued, but that's a completely separate claim they are raising.
You don't sue a contractor for breaking your door. They either replace it for free or you file a claim against their insurance.
 

Tak Ne

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You gotta give some props for their creativity though, shows you the length companies will go to win in court.
Sure they want to win but Apple has never minded losing in court. The one thing they do care about is that the settlement stipulates that Apple admits no wrongdoing. Its standard for any cult-like business.. papal infallibility etc.
 

Derangel

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Serves them right, I mean anybody who willingly gives money to Apple for inferior overpriced products should not be at all suprised by this. "You paid for it and now we are going to deliberately destroy YOUR property by slowing it down AND you are going to like it AND you are going to buy new cr*p from us so we can do it all again!". Yea, serves them right.

Oh btw, their "argument" is pure undistilled steaming bs.
I feel like Apple should have given users a choice, however I don't think really think them issuing the update was wrong either. The reality of lith-ion batteries is that they degrade and as that happens it has a huge effect on battery life. The update didn't "destroy" anything. In typical Apple fashion they chose the "we're always right and users shouldn't have more options" approach to the problem, but it was a problem that had to be dealt with. Mind you, having easily user replaceable batteries would have negated a lot of the need for this but well that's the nature of the current smartphone market.
 

serious

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"Plaintiffs are like homeowners who have let a building contractor into their homes to upgrade their kitchens, thus giving permission for the contractor to demolish and change parts of the houses."
Owner: "You broke my kitchen!"
Contractor: "Yeah, remember you let us in and upgrade your kitchen?"
Owner: "When the F did I let you in? And WTF did you break?"
Contractor: "You gave us the permission to come into your kitchen whenever we see fit the moment you purchased the kitchen, and we won't tell you what we have upgraded."
Owner: "You mean demolish?"
Contractor: "Upgraded."

P.S.:
I like how allowing a contractor to work in the kitchen means giving permission for the contractor to demolish and change parts of the house.
 
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sfsuphysics

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Honestly wondered what would take them so long to just slap down the whole "You fucking agreed to it, did you not read the user agreement every single time you upgraded the software on your phone?"
 

cjcox

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After initially admitting they were behind the evidence presented about slowing down the phones, they have decided now that it wasn't them, and are saying, "What's this iPhone you speak of?"
 

Darkcyde

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Soo, Apple admits to degrading and slowing down older phones to force you to buy a new one. Confirmed.
 

Brokennails

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Funnily enough, I have never had a phone have problems with battery causing crashes and whatever else they are claiming. I have had shitty battery life though. Guess apple designed their shit wrong?
 

Sycraft

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The funny thing is if they just weren't such douches about it, this kind of thing could be a PR win and a feature they could sell. If when phones got old and battery life wasn't doing as well a message came up that said "Hey, your phone is old, we can increase the battery by slowing down the CPU to compensate, would you like us to do that? You can always change the setting later." Fanboys would praise them for extending the life of you "investment". Instead they decided to be dicks about it and here we are with a lawsuit.
 

zkostik

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Apple is in the process of defending itself from a class-action lawsuit alleging they intentionally slowed down processors with an iOS update, but desperation appears to be growing based on their legal team’s newest defense on why they shouldn’t have to pay up. In what is described as a “bizarre” argument, lawyers say Apple is essentially a building contractor: a typical job (iPhone) may involve excessive destruction (degraded hardware), but initial consent (user agreeing to updates) pardons the contractor from such liabilities.

Apple is like a building contractor you hire to redo your kitchen, the tech giant has argued in an attempt to explain why it shouldn't have to pay customers for slowing down their iPhones. Addressing a bunch of people trying to sue it for damages, the iGiant's lawyers told a California court this month: "Plaintiffs are like homeowners who have let a building contractor into their homes to upgrade their kitchens, thus giving permission for the contractor to demolish and change parts of the houses." They went on: "Any claim that the contractor caused excessive damage in the process sounds in contract, not trespass."
Well, if the law allows for this then why wouldn't they user this to get out? As for bullshit and absurdity, I keep saying this over and over, vote with your wallet people! There are tons of alternatives and yet people keep coming back for more anal they repeatedly get from Apple.
 

THRESHIN

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Buying an apple product is a lot like buying a butt plug. You should be able to figure out where that thing is going.
 

WyldeStile

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Using Apple's arguement, Apple is not only the contractor, but also the building owner. As the contractor, they intentionally made the living conditions so onerous, that you had to move. Hopefully to their newer housing. It just so happens that it is also more expensive housing.
 
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GoldenTiger

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Soo, Apple admits to degrading and slowing down older phones to force you to buy a new one. Confirmed.
Wrong! They slowed them to prevent random shutoff from weak, old batteries. Please have some idea of what you're talking about when posting.
 
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