The ability to jump into iTunes and download practically any major motion picture ever created is just one of the many reasons why the iPhone and iPad have become so successful, but a Florida lawyer claims Apple’s HD video rentals are actually a scam.
According to a class action lawsuit filed this June by Scott Weiselberg at the San Francisco federal court, Apple may have violated consumer production laws and deceived customers into paying $1 more for HD videos by serving up HD versions of iTunes video rentals on iOS devices that don’t support HD video.
As reported by GigaOM, Weiselberg says that he rented the movie “Big Daddy” from iTunes but was forced to pay for the $4.99 HD version, even though his older iPhone doesn’t support HD. In Weiselberg’s view, Apple should compensate everyone who paid $4.99 to download HD movies to their older, non-HD compatible devices.
The complaint claims that when Apple released iTunes 8.0 in 2010, HD was made the default option when downloading video on the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch even though the devices could only receive Standard Definition video.
Even though iTunes is able to recognize that a device is SD-only, Weiselberg’s complaint claims that Apple sold the HD versions anyway just to make a little extra money. With over 49 million of those older devices sold, that extra dollar increase probably helped Apple rake in a few extra million, even though a dollar amount isn’t specified in the complaint, which can be read below: