The iPad 4 launched too soon after the iPad 3 according to a new lawsuit in Brazil, which claims Apple planned to make the iPad 3 obsolete, and seeks damages for consumers who purchased the iPad 3.
The Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law Software filed a lawsuit alleging Apple’s faster iPad 4 release constitutes “planned obsolescence” for the iPad 3.
Speaking about the lawsuit, which alleges that Apple engaged in unfair business practices, institute attorney Sergio Palomares describes the problem,
Consumers thought [they were] buying high-end equipment not knowing [it] was already an obsolete version.
Apple launched the iPad 3 in March 2012, and followed up with the iPad 4 in October when the company also announced the iPad mini. Previously Apple launched a new iPad on an annual release cycle.
The iPad 4 offers a newer processor, a better front facing camera and Apple’s new lightning connection. Despite Palomares’ claims, the iPad 3 is not obsolete in the way most users think of the word. Apple still sells chargers and iPad 3 accessories, supports the iPad 3 with the latest updates to iOS 6.1.2 and Gotta Be Mobile could not find any apps that only work on the iPad 4.
Despite the similar looking exterior, these changes do not appear minor. Specifically, it’s unclear how Brazil plans to prove that Apple could have launched a new processor and a new lightning connector 7 months early, especially considering how difficult Lightning cables were to find in the first months after Apple introduced the new connection.
When Apple announced the iPad 4, many retailers offered an extended exchange period allowing users to return a recently purchased iPad 3 for the iPad 4.
Apple recently lost the iPhone trademark in Brazil, though the company has appealed the ruling.
Early rumors suggest that Apple could be preparing the iPad 5 for a release in April, but recent rumors suggest Apple will hold the iPad 5 release date for June or October. It’s not clear how soon is too soon for the Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law Software.