And yet people still wonder why many people are hesitant to allow any sort of software update to install. Philips isn't just turning their product into a wall garden. They're teaching more people that "software update"="things stop working like they did".Below the fold, some commentary.
One major problem with the IoT is that in most cases software updates aren't available. But even when they are, consumers are very slow to install them. This is an important reason why, and I can sympathise with them. An iOS upgrade effectively bricked my second iPhone. After the interminable download, it took the iPhone 20-30 seconds to echo a keypress! I'm now very slow to upgrade iOS, waiting until there are numerous reports of successful upgrades to my particular hardware before trying it.
Selling a product that is clearly labelled as being intentionally defective because it is DRM-ed is one thing, but subsequently and without notice rendering a product defective that wasn't when purchased is quite another. Phillips got so much flak about this boffo idea that they restored interoperability after a couple of days.
But I'm sure others will not learn from this, and we'll see more attempts to cripple paid-for functionality. TKnarr at Techdirt proposed an interesting way to fight back:
Their controllers say Zigbee Light link protocol 1.0 certified. If the firmware update renders the controllers incompatible with Zigbee Light link protocol 1.0 (ie. will not interoperate with bulbs using that protocol), that's a manufacturing defect. I'd simply return the defective controllers to where you bought them and request a refund (a replacement isn't acceptable since Philips has made it clear all of their controllers are or will be rendered defective). Sorting out the defective merchandise with the manufacturer is the store's problem.What would have happened if I'd tried to return my iPhone as defective?
The store will probably balk at refunding your money. Your state Attorney General's office would probably appreciate reports of stores refusing to accept returns of defective merchandise, seeing as various warranty and consumer-protection laws require them to.