You may have heard that iPhone customers around the US are suing Apple for slowing down their older phones. Class-action lawsuits have been filed in at least three states — California, Illinois, and New York. Whether or not Apple violated any consumer rights is for the courts to decide. What is known at this point is that some people are aggressed, though it’s for all sorts of different reasons. Some users believe Apple should have asked them for consent before sending out the phone-slowing software. Others contend the Apple attempted to deceive iPhone owners by throttling down their phone’s performance maybe perhaps to encourage them to buy a new phone. Apple admitted to slowing down the processing speed of older model iPhones SE, 6, 6S, and 7, to preserve their batteries and prevent unexpected shutdowns. Like all cell phones, iPhones are powered by lithium-ion batteries which gradually lose charging capability and performance as they age. Apple says “Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles.”
In a statement sent to nearly every tech publication on the planet, Apple said that in cold conditions or when the older phone is drawing a lot of power, the handset could unexpectedly shut down. In short, Apple contends this is an engineering decision designed to smooth out the instantaneous peaks or draws in power, to keep your phone operating.
Here is the update from California: Two individuals from Los Angeles say Apple “never requested consent” to slow down their phones or “choose whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than normal.” The unexpected slowing of their phone, they say, “caused them to suffer, and continue to suffer, economic damages and other harm for which they are entitled to compensation” This compensation includes replacement of the phone and compensation for the value they lost.
The Los Angeles Times reports two other lawsuits, including one accusing Apple of “fraud through concealment and unfair business practices.”
In an interesting argument reported by Reuters, a lawsuit filed in San Francisco contends that the iPhone batteries’ inability to keep up with demand proved the batteries were defective. The complaint read: “Rather than curing the battery defect by providing a free battery replacement for all affected iPhones, Apple sought to mask the battery defect.”