A group of 18 plaintiffs have launched a new class action lawsuit in a federal court in San Jose accusing Apple of fraudulent behavior in deliberately throttling older iPhones with weaker batteries. According to a news report, the plaintiffs, who are from different parts of the country, have specifically charged Apple with violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as California’s Unfair Competition Law, Computer Data Access and Fraud Act and “trespass to chattels” rules.
Lawsuit Seeks Punitive Damages
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and compensation including punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. The lawsuit states that after several yeas of consumer frustration, on Dec. 20, 2017, Apple admitted to “one of the largest consumer frauds in history, affecting hundreds of millions of mobile devices across the globe.” In April 2018, a judicial panel ordered the consolidation of 61 similar lawsuits. It isn’t clear if this one will be grouped with others as well.
The iPhone slowdown issue started sometime in late 2017 when a Reddit user found CPU throttling after running impromptu benchmarking tests. Conspiracy theorists at the time said Apple intentionally built the feature. Apple’s fix was implemented in iOs 10.2.1 as a way of preventing sudden shutdowns when a chemically depleted battery would not supply sufficient power to keep the phone running.
Apple ultimately apologized to iPhone owners in December 2017 for a lack of transparency. The company slashed prices on out-of-warranty battery replacements and later delivered software updates that expanded data and allowed people to reduce instances of throttling.
Value of a Class Action Lawsuit
In this case, Apple did in fact confirm that it slows down older iPhones, a feature introduced in 2016 to protect against problems caused by aging batteries. The feature was implemented on the iPhone 6, 6S and SE during a software update on the iPhone7 with the release of iOS 11.2. Apple said it slowed down phones that have older batteries, batteries with low charge or that are cold.
When consumers buy Apple products or any product, they expect it to work as intended. A class action lawsuit is filed by a “class” or “group” of people who have been adversely affected by a corporation or organization’s actions. Class action lawsuits empower ordinary citizens to hold large corporations accountable. We hope this lawsuit helps bring out the facts of this case and gives these consumers their day in court.