78 More Customers Sue Apple Over 'Secretly Throttling' Older iPhones in Latest Class Action

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,097
10,447



Class action lawsuits continue to mount against Apple over the iPhone Slowdown saga.


For those unaware, late last year, Apple admitted that it throttles the maximum performance of some older iPhone models with chemically aged batteries when necessary in order to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down.

Apple views this as a feature intended to provide the best user experience possible, and make iPhones last as long as possible, but it wasn't very transparent about the changes, leading some customers to believe that Apple is purposefully slowing down older iPhones as a form of planned obsolescence.

In an apology letter to customers over its lack of communication, Apple emphatically denied that it would ever "do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."

Not everyone believes Apple, however, as a group of 78 customers from multiple states have jointly filed a class action lawsuit against Apple this week, accusing the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhones to force customers to upgrade to a newer iPhone, calling it "one of the largest consumer frauds in history."

The full complaint is exhaustive, as most court documents are, but the gist of it is that Apple allegedly committed fraud by secretly slowing down older iPhones as part of a money-making scheme. Through these actions, Apple is accused of violating California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act and other laws.

An excerpt from the complaint, filed in a U.S. district court in San Jose on Monday and obtained by MacRumors:
While Plaintiffs and the class need not attribute any motive behind Apple's intentional degradation of the Devices, it is evident that Apple continued to do so for the simple reason most frauds are committed: money.

Although technically complex in part, the scheme was logical and simple: The Devices were designed defectively, and Apple released software updates to conceal the Defects, all the while exacerbating the effects of the Defects--principally decreased performance--so that Device users had no choice but to purchase new batteries or upgrade their Devices, resulting in additional payments to Apple and a sustained (albeit forced) customer base.
Apple's VP of marketing Greg Joswiak recently denied this theory, calling it "about the craziest thinking in the world."
Which is about the craziest thinking in the world, where I give you a ****** experience so you go buy our new product. But, to your point, there's been so much that people forgot about how great software updates are. First of all, we have a 95 percent customer satisfaction rate with iOS 11... it's great. We have delivered through the years amazing features, from the App Store to iMessage."
The plaintiffs, who reside all across the United States, are aiming to become the representatives of the proposed class, including all users of the iPhone 5 and newer and various iPad models, including the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad mini.

It's unclear why the complaint includes the iPhone 5-5s and iPads, which are not affected by the performance management, according to Apple.

This case, along with over 60 others, will likely be heard by the Honorable Judge Edward J. Davila, after the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all iPhone slowdown lawsuits to be consolidated as one large class action in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, where he presides.

Apple has already taken a few courses of action beyond apologizing, including reducing the price of battery replacements to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018, and offering a $50 credit to all customers who paid for an out-of warranty battery replacement for an iPhone 6 or later in 2017.

Moreover, in iOS 11.3, Apple introduced a new Battery Health feature in beta to track an iPhone's battery and performance status.

When users first install iOS 11.3 or later, all performance management features that might have been enabled are automatically disabled. If an unexpected shutdown occurs, however, the performance management is turned back on and must be disabled manually thereafter--although Apple doesn't recommend it.

If you are experiencing issues with or have questions about your iPhone battery, contact Apple Support. Also read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Article Link: 78 More Customers Sue Apple Over 'Secretly Throttling' Older iPhones in Latest Class Action
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
5,783
8,979
"Which is about the craziest thinking in the world, where I give you a ****** experience so you go buy our new product."

Well, it's more sophisticated than that. The out of box experience was great and was great for the first 2 years. The "****** experience" is simply a slowdown, not a crash or shutdown. It was gradually and quietly introduced in iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2. Everyone and their dog associates old with slow and new with fast. This theory isn't as crazy as it sounds.
 
Last edited:

tridley68

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2014
931
956
Easy fix just get a new phone they make the plans cheap enough lawsuits take years to settle and batteries degrade over time just saying.
 

AJ5790

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2016
295
996
Phoenix
Well, Apple WAS slowing down iPhones am I right?
No doubt. Painting it as a negative is ridiculous. It was by design to fix a problem people were having with their phone crashing when the processor requested more power than the battery could safely supply because of degradation. The pretzeled logic of “hey, let’s slow down everyone’s older phones to give them a reason to upgrade” would have been insane. How likely are you to upgrade to another iPhone after just having a very frustrating experience? It is inanity.
 

truthertech

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2016
2,032
2,190
Anyone who has the $75 can file a lawsuit. Another publicity stunt by a lawyer seeking some attention with a worthless lawsuit that will go nowhere. People mistakenly think just because someone files a suit, it has merit or that the plaintiffs will receive anything.
 

danckwerts

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2008
142
87
Richmond upon Thames
My god. Just move on. No wonder there is such vile contempt for the legal profession today. Thank goodness none of our children wanted to go into law. I'd have to disown them. :apple:
I'm beginning to think that every nation gets the lawyers it deserves. After all, the lawyers in such cases rely on the greed of their clients.
 

zarmanto

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2014
153
99
Around the corner from the 7/11
... it is evident that Apple continued to do so for the simple reason most frauds are committed: money. ...
I absolutely disagree that there was actual fraud involved here; that's a huge stretch. Mind you, I will acknowledge that Apple could probably have handled things better... but frankly, this kind of lawyer-speak absolutely galls me. This highly speculative accusation is being made by a lawyer in the very act of lodging a class action lawsuit for the simple reason that most class action lawsuits are lodged: money. Indeed, the parallel between their accusation and their own actions is positively laughable in its hypocrisy! And just like every other class action lawsuit ever, the 78ish users affected by this issue will receive pennies on the dollar for their trouble, while the lawyer gets to pay off the loan on his brand new car, with cash to spare.
 

LordVic

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
5,559
12,088
The lawsuits aren't necessary bad. Apple did something wrong, even borderline malicious to their users.

These lawsuits would be unwarranted if Apple didn't at first lie about it, while users who did complain about it, were told to buy new devices.

Apple throttling the devices themselves ot prevent unwarranted crashes and restarts wasn't the problem. It was the messaging and how they handled this.


First, they were asked outright did they throttle older devices? Apple outright said "NO"

When users took their slow devices to Apple stores to get inspected, These phones passed the battery test, which only tested retention capacity of the battery and not load. So devices would show up as 80%+ of their health left, but still cause crashes / throttling due to a faulty design. These users were originally tol they needed to replace their phone (at their own cost). Apple refused battery service on many of these devices.

Only after definitive evidence of throttling by 3rd parties did Apple finally admit that they had a battery problem that they secretly snuck in throttling to prevent. Again, the throttling itself isn't the problem here, it's that it was secretly implemented without user knowledge or option.


And then to top of all off, even AFTER they admitted to it, They're still charging $29 to replace batteries due to their faulty design.

anyone who doesn't think there's some merit to Apple being sued here is drinking the cool-aid. When companies behave in such anti-consumer behaviours, they should be held accountable for it.
 

BigMcGuire

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2012
5,576
6,984
California
No doubt. Painting it as a negative is ridiculous. It was by design to fix a problem people were having with their phone crashing when the processor requested more power than the battery could safely supply because of degradation. The pretzeled logic of “hey, let’s slow down everyone’s older phones to give them a reason to upgrade” would have been insane. How likely are you to upgrade to another iPhone after just having a very frustrating experience? It is inanity.
My wife's iPhone 6s+ within 1.4 years had near complete battery failure. Her phone would randomly shut off at anything under 70% and her battery lasted 1/3rd as long as mine (I had a 6s+ as well). CoconutBattery showed the battery capacity at 40% randomly - showing voltage drops like crazy.

We took the phone to Apple and they saw the phone restarts, saw how quickly the phone drained, their own app said there was problems with the phone but refused to do anything about it saying the battery was "green" even though we showed them the phone shutting off before reaching 0%.

So I paid $80? after they said they would do nothing. In the process of replacing my wife's 6s+ battery they destroyed the phone and AppleCare+ gave us a new 6s+ for free.

Again this was within 2 years of ownership. I'm convinced that the 6, 6+, 6s, 6s+ had a batch of defective batteries, which is why they did this - to keep the phones from restarting doing anything battery intensive.

To Apple's credit, I did get a $50? $60? refund on my CC recently even though we had her 6s+ battery replaced late last year. Didn't have to do a thing. Nice, but still Apple should have done something about those defective batteries sooner.

All batteries degrade over time.
So, it's incorrect to think that this JUST happened to older phones past the 2 year mark.
 
Last edited:

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,323
15,406
Hmmm. I have an iPhone 6s that I bought outright when it was the new iPhone. In the cold of winter it would constantly shut off (because batteries don't handle the cold well) when the battery was under 50%. That's because the battery couldn't handle the peak demand. It made going for walks or doing anything outside in the winter a crapshoot. I was going to replace it because I couldn't go another winter like that.

Then the "slowdown" software was released...and I now have a fully functional 6s that stays on even in the cold of winter.

I'll take the functional phone with the "slowdown" over the one that just crashes constantly. Apple LOST a potential upgrade by instituting this fix, which flies in the face of the claims people keep making here.

The constant with most people still weeping over this? They either willfully don't understand the technical aspects of what's going on (but still bleat about it anytime they can) or they tend to use this "Slowdown" as one of 30 rambling points in an anti-Apple screed. I have a lot of issues with Apple as a company, but giving me another 2 years of life out of a phone by throttling it when the battery chemistry can't handle the peak load is NOT one of them.
[doublepost=1530809678][/doublepost]
I still don't understand why they can't fix the underlying problem when Android has.
Android has the same functionality as Apple's "throttling" built right into the OS.

Also, what Android phone are you describing? There are thousands of different battery configurations in the Android world.
 

Fatyank

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2008
219
76
Chandler, Arizona
These class action suits only benefit the lawyers. They get their 30% fee from the total settlement. Everyone else gets a pittance. Ambulance chasers being fed by people wanting free money. Do you sue your car company because the windscreen wipers or tires wear out? Get real people. Your life is not coming to an end because your f*****g battery is wearing out and the phone slows a bit. Buy a new battery, new phone, different phone, get two tin cans and a string. Okay, I'm off my soapbox.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.