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Apple Facing Multiple Lawsuits After Admitting to Slowing Down Old iPhones

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Nine lawsuits have been filed against Apple for fraud, after the company said it slowed down older iPhones to compensate for poor battery performance.

According to a new report from Reuters, eight of the nine lawsuits have been filed in the US District Courts in California, New York and Illinois. They seek class action against Apple to represent potentially crores of iPhone users around the United States.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages from Apple, in addition to reimbursement for the phone’s purchase with two of the plaintiffs asking the court to ban the company from reducing the speed of devices or, at least to oblige Apple to inform users before it does so.

A $125 million USD class action lawsuit was also been filed by two Israelis in Tel Aviv on Monday, Haaretz reported on Tuesday. The Israelis claim that Apple breached its duty toward consumers by concealing information. The suit accuses Apple of “breaching its basic duties toward users by failing to disclose that ‘innocent’ software updates would have negative implications for their phone use.”

The company acknowledged last week for the first time in detail that operating system updates released since “last year” for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature “to smooth out” power supply from batteries that are cold, old or low on charge.

Phones without the adjustment would shut down abruptly because of a precaution designed to prevent components from getting fried, Apple said.

Earlier in the week, Apple told CNBC: “Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.”

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  • Makool

    125M$? Really people!! I agree that Apple had to admit it way back in time, but people is just greedy!!

  • Jackie

    How does one join this lawsuit? My iPhone 7+ is crawling, it is acting in speed like my 5S.

  • FragilityG4

    Bring on the opportunists!! Personally I didn’t notice the slow down as much as I noticed my phone stopped abruptly resetting… which would you prefer? Oh please stop with the violins on “they should have told us!” No one was complaining after the phones stopped resetting and most probably didn’t notice a speed difference.

  • Eric toto

    Hi. My iPhone 6 was slow as hell. Geekbench test shown a 50% slow down and all was back as normal after I changed the battery. The main issue is that Apple didn’t tell anybody and many thought their phone were just obsolete.

  • FragilityG4

    I guess it depends on your definition of “slow as hell”. I saw an iPhone 3G after an iOS 4 update and that was, in my definition, slow as hell. My old 3GS, 5 and 5s all preformed at an acceptable speed to the point when I upgraded. Not as quick as the new phones, obviously, but nowhere even close to that of the 3G.

  • FragilityG4

    Will joining a class action lawsuit that, if it is giving the okay by a court to proceed, will take several years to resolve make your current phone faster?

  • Eric toto

    Slow as score 750 on Geekbench 4, when iPhone 6 should score at 1450 and a SE at 2500.

    FYI, iPhone 5 = 730

  • FragilityG4

    There’s no way. My iPhone 5s running iOS 11.2 scored 1163/1930 on Geekbench 4 on my last test before changing phones.

  • Bill___A

    I must confess that I am not pleased to have seen this done without notification. Also, a battery declines gradually, so at the point that the battery would cause the device to fail (crash), one would expect at that point, the battery would need replacement. This story about how the battery causes the device to crash, but if it is slowed down, doesn’t crash, makes NO sense to me. Although not intimately knowledgeable of the inner workings of iPhones nor their software, I can look at my decades long experience with “other” (non-Apple) phones, laptops, etc, and recall absolutely no instance where, when the battery has gone downhill to the point that the device crashes, that this can be “fixed” by slowing the device down. Something is very fishy to me and needs more explanation, the current explanation does not make a lot of sense. Finally, I did in fact use the point that my iPhone 6 Plus had slowed down considerably as a justification for getting an iPhone 7 Plus. I would have certainly gone the path of a replacement battery had I known. Since I have a wife, I need to buy phones in twos, so I spent almost $3000 (including warranty) when I could have spent $200. So that is the baseline of the “damages” caused to me in this case – $2800 or $1400 per phone. Although I did opt for the increased memory on the new phones, it was not necessary to do this if the iPhone 6 Plus would have been able to get extended by a new battery.

  • BigCat

    You make a very important point!

    Most people have not taken the time to go through the data to see how much throttling contributed vs just the actual condition of the battery. It is practically guaranteed that all of the current bench marking software will trip the throttling algorithm. Even the guy who first published test results on this issue took a lot of liberties in reaching his conclusions.

    Most people may not even experience the effect of throttling. For most an old battery or a poorly written App will have a much greater effect.

  • iverge

    Greedy? This from a company that makes billions of dollars in profit and avoids taxes using havens around the world? HA!

  • iverge

    No but, Apple was not transparent and I have no doubt many people including myself upgraded because the phone was frustratingly SLOW which only added to their bottom line… PROFIT!

    Apple should be providing some compensation.

  • iverge

    Please speak for yourself.

  • On the libra scales we have a throttled performance after 2 years or sudden shut offs on a bad battery like way saw on the iPhone 6s (I went through it)
    On both sides of this Libra scale, Apple was threatened with lawsuits. There’s no way out for Apple here, greedy public trying to get money anyway they can.

  • Makool

    So 125M $ is realistic to sue Apple for lying about the issue? I agree people should be compensated if the arguments are valid, but 125M $, I’m not defending nobody here Sir, I’m just being realistic here.

  • FragilityG4

    As long as you do the same ?

  • FragilityG4

    Do you truly believe that Apple had an executive meeting and someone through out the idea “hey we can make more money by slowing down peoples phones thus forcing them to upgrade?” Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but with all due respect your comment is the most illogical I have read.

  • FragilityG4

    I also wonder about those you still complain about “slow as hell” phones how much available hard disk space they have on their devices. I know when mine has been used up almost completely it slows down a ton. As soon as I free up a couple gigs it runs well again.

  • iverge

    Most illogical? Guess you don’t read much.

    And you’d probably would say the same thing about price fixing on bread up until a couple of weeks ago 😉

  • iverge

    The person is not suing them for $125 million it is a class action lawsuit which represents LOTS of people.

  • Makool

    My bad no one, but two people for 125M$, I’m referring exclusively to this paragraph.

    “A $125 million USD class action lawsuit was also been filed by two Israelis in Tel Aviv on Monday, Haaretz reported on Tuesday”

    Have a nice day!!

  • FragilityG4

    Again illogical. If it was all about artificially boosting sales via “forced upgrade” why not let the older phones keep resetting and just say “your phone is old and obsolete” instead of finding a solution? There’s a risk in not finding a solution and, as you would say, making a problem so people are “forced to upgrade” and that’s the customers can go buy another phone from another manufacturer. So yes, most illogical.

  • iverge

    Like I said you don’t read much. #PeopleSeeWhatTheyWantToSee

  • iverge

    Well that’s not accurate. Here is the deets:

    Apple Slapped With Class Action Suit in Israel for Deliberately Slowing Older iPhones
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/1.831084

  • iverge

    Google is your friend:

    Apple was hit with a 500-million-shekel (about $125 million) class action lawsuit in Israel on Monday, a week after the company admitted to deliberately slowing the performance of older iPhone models and some days after similar suits were filed in the United States.

    The two Israelis behind the suit argue that Apple breached its duty toward consumers by concealing information.

    Apple claimed last week that its intention in providing software updates that slowed the phones was to make aging batteries last longer. But the lawsuits filed in the U.S. charge that the company’s silence led users to wrongly conclude that their only option was to buy newer, pricier iPhones.

    The Israeli class action filed in Tel Aviv on Monday says that Apple is known for its “closed” nature: The code of its system is not accessible, and users are entirely dependent on Apple’s judgment regarding their use of the operating system and the device. The claim accuses Apple of breaching its basic duties toward users by failing to disclose that “innocent” software updates would have negative implications for their phone use.

    The claimants say that the software updates impaired their ability to browse the web, check email and use various applications. “There is no doubt that information about the device slowing is important, and cardinal, and users had the right to get [that information] from Apple before deciding whether to install the software updates,” the lawsuit says.

  • FragilityG4

    I guess the conversation is over because that is not much of a talking point plus it’s a complete tangent.

  • huddyrocks

    Not to mention, forcing someone to upgrade hardware opens them up to possibly losing a customer to a competitor. Replace a battery and they are still in your eco-system buying apps that you make 30% off. Forcing them to buy a new device and thus possibly losing them forever is not a good calculated risk.
    Like you said, if they wanted to make the hardware obsolete, they could simply cease support of iOS.
    Given the choice of random system shutdown or throttle for stability based on power integrity, I think made the right choice. Whatever reason people feel that Apple needs to inform them of any optimizations they do under the hood is laughable.( yes, the system throttling to prevent random shutdown is an optimization. Stability is king) Do they think they need to be informed of kernel optimizations too? If they do they’re delusional.
    I wonder if any of these people contacted Apple inquiring why their phone was slower. I doubt it, but you can be sure they’re crawling out of the woodwork to get 30 bucks from a class action. Typical.

  • FragilityG4

    Well put! I agree 100%

  • huddyrocks

    Did you read the EULA?
    Where in that does it say Apple will inform you of software changes implemented to improve stability?
    #PeopleSeeWhatTheyWantToSee

  • iverge

    Where does it say it will slow your phone down?
    #SomePeopleAreHappyBeingMiserable

  • huddyrocks

    You’re making my point , although you are too blind to see it. They don’t HAVE to tell you anything about whats going on under the hood.It doesn’t say that the power controller throttles down DC charging to the battery when it approaches capacity and by what ratio. Doesn’t mean it is not happening. Likewise, it does not say it limits power to components not in use to preserve battery life. Doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. FWIW,Being miserable would be having my phone randomly shut off. Thankfully, Apple fixed that.
    #SomePeopleThinkTheWorldOwesThem Something

  • iverge

    Another lawsuit this time in France. Under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5 percent of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them.

  • Ron

    The problem is they weren’t transparent and kept things hidden. You don’t see any problem with that? If it wasn’t for that reddit thread, customers would of been totally oblivious. Throttling CPU cycles down to less than half, significantly impacts performance. I get it was done for reliability purposes and most likely not a conspiracy to force people to upgrade, but to do so with no full disclosure? Or perhaps even give an option to toggle it off? Nah, lets just keep sweep under the rug and hope people don’t find out.

  • John

    A simple warning (before firmware update), informing the consumer CPU throttling may occur for reliability purposes, and that changing battery will fix the problem, would of prevent most of this BS.

  • John

    Ignorance is bliss, eh Fragy?

  • huddyrocks

    I’m not sure that a warning would have prevented the sue happy people. Agree it would have been nice, for the level headed. The irrational however would still be on here stating Apple was trying to slow their device with the sole purpose of forcing them (???) to buy a new Apple phone. Conspiracy theorists will not be silenced 🙂

  • FragilityG4

    “If it wasn’t for that reddit thread, customers would of been totally oblivious”
    Exactly. It’s not a big deal. Like I’ve said a number of times I never noticed a speed difference, but I noticed the phone no longer abruptly shutdown. If Apple gave me a choice, I’d still take the ladder; wouldn’t you?

  • John

    I’ve noticed the performance hit when playing games. FPS would significantly decrease (choppy video and game play during certain times), when before it would not. Never understood why until now.

    Nope. Given the choice, I’d rather be given notice. A simple warning such as “Detected battery is not fully optimal and may need to be changed to restore performance. Firmware update xx.x will CPU will throttle to prevent crashes”, would of sufficed. I would of then paid to replaced the battery, which fixes the real issue. Hiding all of this is what rubs most people the wrong way.

  • FragilityG4

    It’s not about the battery not having enough charge, it’s about the battery being old and gone through several charge cycles. Your warning would read “your battery is old, buy a new one”

  • John

    Of course, that’s what I meant. But you’d prefer they slow it down to “fix” the problem and cover up the real issue.

  • FragilityG4

    The alternative is they don’t support the device after a year. My old phone use to reset all the time. Eventually it stopped and I didn’t notice a huge speed change and that battery was pretty shot. I just got a new phone because it had been five years plus and I was financial able too.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I agree. Most people seem to be missing the point that this is a DESIGN FLAW and NOT a normal process that happens with phones as the battery ages. Other companies such as HTC and Motorola have come out and said they don’t need to slow down their phones since their phones don’t have this DESIGN FLAW. Why are we expected to pay $29 for their error? They advertised their phones to be a certain speed and claimed batteries would not generally need to be replaced. Then they did a sneaky thing. And only now, once they have been caught, they offer a false apology and STILL make their customers pay for THEIR error. I agree that they should be providing their loyal customers with some sort of compensation.

  • John

    Well the sue happy and irrational kooks would certainly have no ammo to use, if notice would of been given (along with option to opt out, or disable throttle “feature”) that’s for sure.

    Implementing a band-aid solution (CPU throttling) that dramatically affects performance and then deciding not inform its consumers about the real issue, was clearly a bad decision on Apples part.

    MacBooks have a battery life meter, which could easily be implemented on the iPhone to warn users when to replace battery.

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