South Korean Consumer Group Files Complaint Against Apple Over iPhone Slowdown

South Korean prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint against Apple CEO Tim Cook on suspicions mounting over the slowdown of older iPhone models.

According to a new report from Reuters, the launch of the probe follows a complaint filed by Seoul-based civic group Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty (CUCS) against Apple CEO Tim Cook and Daniel Dicicco, head of Apple Korea.

CUCS claims that the deliberate deterioration of older iPhones through software updates is a scam aimed at boosting sales of new models. The group believes Apple should be charged with fraud, property damage and obstruction of business by digital devices.

“For the sake of its loyal fans, Apple has to take responsibility over the slowing iPhones,” Park Soon-jang, an official at the advocacy group told Reuters by phone on Friday.

The consumer advocate group also filed a compensation suit against Apple and its local headquarters last week, seeking damages of KRW 2.2 million (approximately $2,600 CAD) per plaintiff.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office declined to comment when asked if it would launch an investigation into Apple following the complaint from the consumer group.

This marks the latest legal action after Apple last month said it slows down phones to extend their life and stop them from shutting down as batteries age and become less effective, triggering lawsuits across the US. Apple will release a software update that will allow users to turn off a feature that slows down iPhones when batteries are low on charge, Tim Cook said on Wednesday.