Another day, another lawsuit. A UK consumer champion has launched a £750 million (about US$907 million) lawsuit against Apple over the 2017 iPhone throttling controversy (“Batterygate”) reports The Guardian).
Around five years ago, there were over 60 lawsuits in the U.S. that alleged that Apple’s actions violated Consumer Protection Act legislation. In December 2017 Apple published an apology letter to customers in regards to “Batterygate” for slowing down older phones to compensate for erratic battery performance.
The tech giant paid $113 million to settle the legal brouhaha and offered $29 replacement batteries for those with an iPhone 6 or later. Apple also added more battery health information to iOS to let users know when the battery begins to compromise performance.
Now, according to The Guardian, Justin Gutmann, a consumer rights campaigner, has launched a claim against Apple over the decision at the Competition Appeals Tribunal. If he wins, the company could be forced to pay damages of more than £750m, spread out between the approximately 25 million people who bought one of the affected phones. The claim relates to the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models.
Gutmann argues that Apple’s decision to throttle the phones wasn’t disclosed to users at the time, and was introduced to disguise the fact that older iPhone batteries were unable to cope with the new demands placed on them. Rather than introduce a battery recall or replacement program, or admit that the latest software update was unsuitable for older devices, Apple pushed users to install the update knowing it would worsen their devices’ performance, he says.