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Canadian Law Firm Rochon Genova Sues Apple for Throttling Down Older iPhones

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Canadian law firm Rochon Genova has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on Friday, February 23 in the Ontario Superior Court, alleging that the Cupertino company breached Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act and Canada’s Competition Act by substantially throttling down older iPhones without warning to or consent from consumers (via MobileSyrup).

“By intentionally substantially slowing iPhones, Apple not only interfered with users’ personal property, but they did so while keeping consumers totally the dark” said Joel Rochon, partner at Rochon Genova LLP, who represents class members. “Being the dominant smartphone company in Canada and around the world, Apple should not only know better, but must be held accountable—especially where it is alleged they substantially slowed iPhones and then encouraged customers to spend money on upgraded products.”

The claim alleges that even though Apple’s iOS updates for iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus were provided to users to deliver enhanced security and performance, they actually allowed Apple to slow down the performance of these updated iPhones. Neither were users informed of this practice, nor were they asked to consent or opt out of it.

Iphone battery

“Following the download of the update, I noticed that my phone was running far slower than previously—painfully slow,” notes Cherif Saleh, representative plaintiff in the lawsuit. “Apple support advised me to ‘go to the Apple Store’ to buy a new phone—this sort of deceitful behaviour from Apple is totally unacceptable.”

While Apple has already apologized for its lack of transparency and offered customers a discount on battery replacements, the latest lawsuit seeks $500 million in damages on behalf of the members involved in the class action.

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  • Chrome262

    not sure how far this will go.

  • swotam

    I don’t really understand why individuals go down this path. The only people who get any big money are the lawyers, while the people who started the thing usually get some paltry amount, and by the time it’s worked its way through the court system what they do get is usually meaningless.

    Yeah, maybe Apple should have communicated things better, but it’s a bit of a stretch to accuse them of intentionally slowing the devices to force people to buy new ones, and even harder to prove unless some lawyer somewhere can get their hands on compelling evidence that supports such nonsense.

    IMO Apple was trying to do the right thing and just did a bad job of communicating it, so now the parasites are out in full force for their payout.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    “bad job of communicating it” makes it sound like Apple tried to tell people, but the imessage didn’t send and they said, oh well, we tried. The fact is that they DID NOT TRY TO COMMUNICATE what they did. Big difference. It’s a big difference because it means they were doing this in secret, ON PURPOSE. You can’t advertise a phone being a certain amount faster than previous phones and then say “oh, we didn’t know our customers would care if we slowed down their phones” Of course Apple knows the speed of their phones is important; it’s one of the biggest points they make in their keynotes.

  • swotam

    Not communicating it at all is an example of doing a bad job of communicating, but thanks for your tin foil approach to how this went down.

    Also, people who think that their 3,4,5 year old phone, regardless of brand or OS, should perform as well as it did on day one while running the latest OS, or who think this is all part of some grand evil scheme to sell more phones, need their head examined.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Oh dear. There are some nice lessons on grammar on Khan Academy you might benefit from. Communicating badly means the the communication you attempted didn’t work out well. The point is that there was an attempt. Not communicating is where there is no attempt.

    If you keep something a secret, as Apple did here, do you say they are doing a bad job of telling you the secret?

    My iPhone 6s is pretty new. They still sell them new you know. It’s not about 3,4,5 yr old phones. That’s called a straw man argument. Look it up under “logic” in Khan Academy while you’re there.

    The problem here, despite what Apple says, is that certain models of iPhones (6, 6s 7) shut off randomly after a certain number of cycles. Other iPhones (8, X etc.) and Android phones DON’T have this problem. They have no ADMITTED to the problem after being caught red-handed. Instead of fixing the phones, they decided to hide the problem by secretly slowing down the phones. You say this is not a “grand evil scheme”. Ok, so what would you like to call it? I never called it “grand”. I never called it “evil” and I never called it a scheme. Those are your words. I call it deceitful, manipulative and bad for their brand and customers.

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