Apple Faces $2 Billion Lawsuit Over Alleged iPhone Battery Defects
Apple was unsuccessful in its attempt to prevent a mass lawsuit in London, potentially costing up to $2 billion USD, which alleges the company concealed defective batteries in millions of iPhones. The claim, initiated by British consumer advocate Justin Gutmann, represents approximately 24 million iPhone users in the UK, reports Reuters.
Gutmann is pursuing damages on behalf of these users, amounting to as much as 1.6 billion pounds ($1.9 billion USD), with a midpoint estimate of 853 million pounds. The legal team contends that Apple masked battery problems in specific iPhone models by using software updates to “throttle” their performance and by incorporating a power management tool that restricted device capabilities.
Apple has countered these allegations, labeling the lawsuit as “baseless” and firmly rejecting any notion of battery defects in their iPhones, except for a limited issue with the iPhone 6s, for which they provided complimentary battery replacements.
Despite Apple’s efforts to dismiss the lawsuit, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruled on Wednesday that Gutmann’s case could advance. However, the CAT highlighted some ambiguities in Gutmann’s arguments that must be addressed before any court proceedings. The tribunal also indicated that Gutmann might need to modify his litigation funding methods due to a recent Supreme Court judgment deeming many such agreements illegal.
Reacting to the decision, Gutmann stated that the ruling marked “a major step towards consumer justice.” An Apple representative reiterated the company’s stance, emphasizing that Apple has never intentionally reduced the lifespan of its products or compromised user experience to encourage upgrades.
This case’s certification amplifies the surge of high-stakes collective lawsuits in London, especially after a July verdict approved claims against leading banks for purported foreign exchange manipulation.