Apple Sued for Throttling iPhones Without User Consent

first_imgApple faces litigation over the recent confession that it deliberately slows older iPhones to prevent battery damage.The tech titan last week admitted to reducing the function of iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and SE models when the battery is old, cold, or low on power.Now, three separate class-action suits—filed in New York, California, and Illinois—claim Apple did not obtain user consent before interfering.“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices,” Cupertino said in a statement published by TechCrunch.“Last year, we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during [specific] conditions,” the company line continued. “We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”The news broke after a Reddit post sparked discussion about the long-standing problem, addressed via benchmark tests by Primate Labs’ John Poole.Conspiracy theorists believe this is Cupertino’s way of encouraging folks to upgrade their handset to the latest and greatest version. Apple blames the lithium-ion batteries.“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” the company said in an overdue attempt to make amends. “There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.“First and foremost, we have never—and would never—do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the statement continued. “Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”To “address customer concerns,” Cupertino is reducing the price of out-of-warranty iPhone 6 and higher battery replacements by $50—from $79 to $29. It also promised an iOS software update “early in 2018” with new features “that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery.”“As always, our team is working to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and void unexpected shutdowns as batteries age,” Apple’s message said.But for some iOwners, this is too little too late.Plaintiffs from Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina are in agreement: The global firm is “fraudulently forcing iPhone owners to purchase the latest model” (in this case, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X).“Apple’s software updates purposefully slowed or ‘throttled down’ the performance speeds of [certain iPhones] because operating system software updates wreaked havoc on batteries within these model devices,” the complainants said in an Illinois filing.This move reportedly violates a number of state acts protecting consumers from deceptive business practices.“Corporations have to realize that people are sophisticated and that when people spend their hard-earned dollars on a product, they expect it to perform as expected,” the plaintiff’s attorney, James Vlahakis, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Instead, Apple appears to have obscured and concealed why older phones were slowing down.”A New Yorker, New Jerseyan, and three Floridians are leading a claim in the Eastern District of New York, boasting more than 100 putative class members hoping to collect $5 million in compensation.Two Los Angeles-based litigants, meanwhile, seek damages for all U.S. owners of Apple smartphones preceding the iPhone 8.Users with older iDevices have reported that replacing the battery increases their phone’s performance. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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