I can understand why this woman is suing. After having great longevity from most Apple products and seeing that as one of the great selling points, I have been disappointed relativity speaking with the decreasing reliability and speed of my iPhone 3.
I suspect it is explainable at least in part by the connection with a single telephone company exclusively initially and their contracts and the desire on their part to want people to “feel a need” to upgrade their phone and therefore their contracts, within two years. I think without the initial relationship with AT & T, the phones might have been built differently.
Now, the justifications may well be affordability as the prices of the new MacBook Air and the iPad do not seem to have long term ownership in mind.