updated 03:30 pm EST, Thu February 21, 2013
Governmental consumer advocacy groups brings suit
MacMagazine.com.br has reported that the Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law Software (IBDI) has sued Apple, claiming that the company has introduced "planned obsolescence" and implements unfair business practices in regards to the fourth-generation iPad. According to the suit, Apple could have implemented all of the features of the iPad 4 in the third-generation iPad, and willfully chose not to -- knowing that it could roll out the improvements piecemeal in a quickly-released fourth-generation iPad just seven months later.
The fourth-generation iPad was released in parallel with the new iPad mini, and offers a faster A6X processor over the third-generation unit, along with a graphics processor that is twice as fast as the previous model. Additionally, the new iPad has the Lightning input/output interface, and a FaceTime HD camera, neither of which are present on the third generation model. IBDI claims that all three features could have been introduced in the third generation iPad, had Apple executives chosen to do so, and thus "broke the tradition" of annual releases.
IBDI attorney Sergio Palomares said in the filing that "consumers thought that they buying high-end equipment, not knowing that it was already an obsolete version." The filing points to Apple's earlier update than normal to the fourth generation, with approximately a year between the first, second, and third generation.