Older iPhone Owners Sue Apple for Slowdown
Old iPhone users have begun going to courthouses, enraged by an Apple Inc. software update that slowed down the operation of their smartphones.
iPhone owners from several states sued Apple Inc. for not disclosing sooner that it issued software updates deliberately slowing older-model phones so aging batteries lasted longer, saying Apple’s silence led them to wrongly conclude that their only option was to buy newer, pricier iPhones.
One group, in Chicago federal court, claims the software updates that throttle down the performance of iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and some iPhone 7s were intentionally put out to induce customers to buy newer iPhones such as iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
A similar lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles. Both suits came a day after Apple confirmed what high-tech sleuths outside the company already observed: The company had deployed software to slow some phones. Apple said it was intended as a fix to deal with degraded lithium-ion batteries that could otherwise suddenly die.
Amy Bessette, an Apple spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on the suits, sent before regular business hours in Cupertino, California.
Apple acknowledged this week that it issued a software update that slows down iPhones with dying batteries. The fix was supposed to help people get more out of their aging batteries, and “reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns,” according to the company.
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices,” an Apple statement said.
“Apple’s iOS updates purposefully neglected to explain that its purposeful throttling down of older model devices and resulting lost or diminished operating performance could be remedied by replacing the batteries of these devices,” the customers said in the Chicago lawsuit, filed Thursday.
The customers in the Chicago suit are seeking unspecified damages. Those in the Los Angeles lawsuit want their old phones replaced and compensation for the loss of value and use of their phones.
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