It’s alive! ‘Batterygate’ lawsuit against Apple continues in the UK

Apple canned its long-in-the-works Apple Car project in February, but a new rumor suggests it might not be entirely dead.

And the “Batterygate” brouhaha continues: Apple has urged a London tribunal to block a US$2 billion class lawsuit accusing the tech giant of hiding defective batteries in millions of iPhones by “throttling” them with software updates, reports Reuters.

The lawsuit is being led by “consumer champion Justin Gutmann on behalf of iPhone users in the United Kingdom.” Lawyers representing Gutmann argue that “concealed issues with batteries in certain phone models and ‘surreptitiously’ installed a power management tool which limited performance.”

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.

In its written response, Apple argued that this lawsuit is “baseless” and said that most iPhone batteries were not defective. The company did, however, acknowledge that a “small number of iPhone 6s models” did have defective batteries, but those users were offered free battery replacements.

As for its decision to throttle performance based on battery health, Apple said that it “only reduced an iPhone 6’s performance by an average of 10%.

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.  

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.