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

MoreRumors?

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2018
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Inside TC's bank account
Is it unreasonable to expect an iPhone to last beyond 2 years under normal use? For those defending Apple, do you really think all owners of iPhones are tech savvy and know how to handle issues when they come up? I am sure a good number end up buying a new one to replace their old one. I, for one, did not get an email alert from Apple about the battery replacement program as they sure had information that I own 2 iPhones 7 and 1 iPhone 6. They made certain to send me an email to thank me for purchasing the iPhone 7. If I were not on MR, I would have never known and end up buying a new phone thinking my current iPhone 6 was on its way out.
 

bodonnell202

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2016
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Negative. They still throttle but give you a toggle if you would rather have that wonderful experience of your phone randomly crashing under load.
Also negative. The current default behavior is to turn throttling off on all phones, but it turning on by default after the phone experiences a shutdown. In my case my iPhone 6s was heavily throttled (up to close to 50%) but has been operating at "Peak Performance Capability" since iOS 11.3 was released ~3 months ago without any random crashes/shutdowns. I found it super annoying but ultimately Apple "fixed" the issue (when they got caught) and I don't really feel the need to get in on the suing Apple action...
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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.
Except there is more to it than that. There are a lot of reports of people with new(er) batteries that Apple diagnostics were reporting at maximum capacity that were still being throttled. My iPhone 6s was one of them. It was being heavily throttled (up to close to 50%) yet has been operating at "Peak Performance Capability" since iOS 11.3 was released ~3 months ago without any random crashes/shutdowns. There's still more to the story... That said I'm still not feeling the need to sue Apple, I just don't find them to a very trustworthy corporation.
 

gwaizai

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2016
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Less we forget--changing the battery would have solved the problem, and Apple Geniuses actively
discouraged people from doing that. Apple even created a "test" proving your battery was A-Ok.
It seems they were well aware of the problem and the solution, but opted to make people think it was time for a new phone.

Maybe it wasn't planned obsolescence--just a design flaw, but Apple took the ball and ran with it. It's "craziness" to think otherwise.

It'll be interesting to see how many people upgrade this cycle, instead of buying new batteries
and holding on to current phones longer.
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
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Less we forget--changing the battery would have solved the problem, and Apple Geniuses actively
discouraged people from doing that. Apple even created a "test" proving your battery was A-Ok.

Maybe it wasn't planned obsolescence, but Apple took the ball and ran with it. It's "craziness" to think otherwise.

But I could be wrong, let's see how many people upgrade this cycle. Maybe we'll just buy new batteries instead
and hold on to our current phones longer.
It’s not craziness, it’s laziness. As in not taking the time to actually look into the technical details and instead rely on the dumbed down reporting of clickbait journalism.
 

CartoonCat

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Feb 3, 2014
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It will be interesting to see how the courts rule on this. Apple has lots of money. Lawyers like money and want to get as much of Apple's money as they can. Class action suits are one of their favorite ways of getting money from corporations. The lawyers make millions while the people in the class action suit get a few bucks each. It's a lawyers dream come true.
 

needsomecoffee

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May 6, 2008
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"Which is about the craziest thinking in the world, where I give you a ****** experience so you go buy our new product."

It was the design of the diagnostic software, and Apple's refusal to replace batteries that is the smoking gun. Tim always loses his composure when asked questions about "BatteryGate". Never gets asked any more, so I think Apple PR is at work ensuring this. Greg used the profanity "sh****" in a podcast. Emotions are high at the C-level on this topic, and composures are being lost.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
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.
Not at all.

Demonstrably from sales, most people are very likely to upgrade to another iPhone, because they've been taught by Apple and experience that their older iOS devices will slow down.

Heck, my own teen daughter just replaced her iPhone because her previous one was getting slower with each iOS update.

These class action suits only benefit the lawyers.
True, monetarily it definitely benefits the lawyers the most.

However, I would argue that it also teaches Apple and other corporations that silence is not always the best policy.

Apple and Google have the same ‘throttling’ solution but Apple is getting sued for not telling us they were doing it.
Not the same solution.

For one thing, Android does NOT enable current-based throttling based on battery age, as Apple apparently does (or did).

Less we forget--changing the battery would have solved the problem, and Apple Geniuses actively discouraged people from doing that. Apple even created a "test" proving your battery was A-Ok. It seems they were well aware of the problem and the solution, but opted to make people think it was time for a new phone.
I personally don't think it was intentional.

But certainly Apple goofed big time in that their store test did not use the same parameters that the phone's throttling used... and thus their "Geniuses" could not see the user's problem, and often advised upgrading and/or refused to replace a battery.
 
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wirefire

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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."

That is an out and out lie. ALL electronics manufacturers degrade a users experience intentionally by refusing to provide maintaince and software support for older hardware. Declaring them vintage or obsolete. and expanding device code in such a way that the performance of devices degrades (even if these updates are in the name of security or increased features.). Electronics manufacturers in general need some perspective on these matters.
 
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Septembersrain

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It wasn't what they did, it's the people who bought new phones, paid $80 or were denied the replacement for a battery, all to find out that Apple wasn't honest about what was going on.

Add in that some 6s had a battery recall and I'm sure that some not included may have experienced the same issues as the ones under recall.
 
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thejadedmonkey

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I feel like, over 10 years after the first iPhone was released, if you are still using iOS, it's because you like it. I would expect above a 95% satisfaction rate Apple, you can do better!
 

Duane Martin

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Your statement is ridiculous
I’ve NEVER, EVER had ANY device that shuts down itself because the battery is “old”. I have a PSP that’s 8 years old and it still works like when it was new. It hasn’t slowed down, it just works. If iPhones shutdown because of that it’s a design flaw of their cpu, because I repeat, I’ve never had any other device shutting down because of this.
Well it's official, then, Apple is lying as evidenced by this single user and his anecdotal evidence. The fact that other phones made by other companies experience this very same issue (just one example here) is obviously totally irrelevant because this user has done exhaustive personal studies of at least one other device.

Seriously, people, at least try to understand the underlying facts here. Apple bungled the PR, no doubt, and the 6 series phones were likely not their best effort, but there is no criminal conspiracy here.

If Apple really wanted to force consumers to upgrade they would only provide a single major OS update like most Android OEMs provide. What Android phone from 2013-2014 has the ability to run the latest Android without any modding? My guess is none.
This is what is called a fact. They are actually quite useful in navigating the world.
 
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Septembersrain

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Well it's official, then, Apple is lying as evidenced by this single user and his anecdotal evidence. The fact that other phones made by other companies experience this very same issue (just one example here) is obviously totally irrelevant because this user has done exhaustive personal studies of at least one other device.

Seriously, people, if you are going to troll at least make an effort.
That they apologized and lowered prices on batteries, also no longer turning people away, proof enough.

And with the Note 4, guess what?

User replaceable battery.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
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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."

That is an out and out lie. ALL electronics manufacturers degrade a users experience intentionally by refusing to provide maintaince and software support for older hardware. Declaring them vintage or obsolete. and expanding device code in such a way that the performance of devices degrades (even if these updates are in the name of security or increased features.). Electronics manufacturers in general need some perspective on these matters.
Not to go too off topic here, but you’re critique is that of the very basis of our modern consumer oriented economy. It’s applicable to everything you’ve ever purchased in your life other than food.

I’d read “the lightbulb conspiracy” if you’re interested in the origins of this production philosophy, it goes back over 100 years.
 

JPack

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It wasn't what they did, it's the people who bought new phones, paid $80 or were denied the replacement for a battery, all to find out that Apple wasn't honest about what was going on.
Agreed, this is the most important point.

Apple hid the issue for 12 months during their annual iPhone launch period. From January 2017 to December 2017, nobody knew about throttling. Most customers simply accepted that their iPhone 6 and 6s slowed down with iOS 10.2.1.

Apple took all this time to write software throttling code but didn't think of writing three sentences in the release notes?
 

NT1440

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That they apologized and lowered prices on batteries, also no longer turning people away, proof enough.

And with the Note 4, guess what?

User replaceable battery.
We’re at version 9 shortly, has t the note not had a removable battery since the 5?

I’m not an Android guy but the note is a fantastic line of products.
 

jasonsmith_88

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Jul 27, 2016
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This lawsuit is absurd. Yes the device will benchmark lower, but in real-world use there is barely any difference in performance. I had no idea it had been enabled on my phone; unlocking, apps, games, all ran at the same speed. But it did stop my device from shutting down at 30% battery. If the accusation is that Apple did this to force upgrades, then the lawsuit should have to prove that devices with power management enabled perform significantly worse than they otherwise would in regular everyday scenarios (ie, not benchmarking).

I agree Apple did the wrong thing by keeping it secret, but looks like these people just want to cash in.
 
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Duane Martin

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That they apologized and lowered prices on batteries, also no longer turning people away, proof enough.
Proof of what, exactly? Apple apologized for bungling the effort and is trying to remedy things. So proof that they... Oh, wait, proof that they didn't choose to do any of this until there was a big stink? Sure, but that doesn't actually prove anything other than that Apple can be responsive, if not quickly.

And with the Note 4, guess what?

User replaceable battery.
Yes, they are user replaceable which does not make the fact that other manufacturers also have battery issues irrelevant (which was the point). What if it were Nexus, or Moto, or every other Android phone on the market. Android's Nouget even disables application specific functions in order to prolong battery life meaning you might not be seeing notifications you would expect to see. But, of course, that's not "throttling" exactly, is it. No, it's just limiting the abilities of your phone as the battery gets older and less serviceable. Hmmm....

Here's a basic primer on batteries. It's not hard to read.
 
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GuruZac

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2015
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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.
This post sums it up. Why do people not understand it was the lack of communication that A. iPhone 6 and 6S had defective batteries. B. They tried to patch the issue by limiting your performance to conceal the defective batteries. C. Apple never acknowledged the problem and exactly what they were doing and to the extent they were doing it. And D. They allowed customers to show up at their stores, Run Apple approved battery tests that by all means showed a healthy battery, but actually wasn’t healthy enough to run full throttle so denied battery replacement effectively forcing customers to deal with a 2 year old phone that ran like an Android device or buy a new phone.

Apple was in the wrong on this. Period. Sure there are sue happy customers and lawyers but come on, Apple didn’t exactly put themselves in a good position.
 

Regime2008

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Proof of what, exactly? Apple apologized for bungling the effort and is trying to remedy things. So proof that they... Oh, wait, proof that they didn't choose to do any of this until there was a big stink? Sure, but that doesn't actually prove anything other than that Apple can be responsive, if not quickly.



Yes, they are user replaceable which does not make the fact that other manufacturers also have battery issues irrelevant (which was the point). What if it were Nexus, or Moto, or every other Android phone on the market. Android's Nouget even disables application specific functions in order to prolong battery life meaning you might not be seeing notifications you would expect to see. But, of course, that's not "throttling" exactly, is it. No, it's just limiting the abilities of your phone as the battery gets older and less serviceable. Hmmm....

Here's a basic primer on batteries. It's not hard to read.
Battery savings mode, which is optional, is NOT the same as throttling a battery. You can enable or leave battery savings mode disabled, or even set it to a specific battery percentage for the feature to enable. Apple on the other hand throttles it's devices, and without an option to turn it off, until everything blew up in their face.

TLDR: Apple throttles batteries, Android does not. Your info was incorrect.
 

doctor-don

macrumors 68000
Dec 26, 2008
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If only they would sue for replaceable batteries on future models as a remedy...
Replaceable batteries also have a shelf life and can be found to be useless as soon as one attempts to charge them.

I still don't understand why they can't fix the underlying problem when Android has.
Android does not have the problem solved. Just because I can select the Power saver mode or the Extreme power saving mode does not mean it has fixed the problem with the battery running down. Mine has turned itself ON and settings have been changed without my having to do anything other than having the phone in my shirt pocket while cutting grass. Using some apps will drain the battery faster than others because they use the display. Mine is currently set to Auto brightness and 50% brightness.

The so-called underlying problem is that Apple does not control how apps utilize the brightness of the display. Having a soft-switch to reduce / slow the ability of the phone to function on the apps instead of having the phone drop phone calls should be considered a benefit.

Those lawsuits are frivolous.
 

NT1440

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May 18, 2008
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This post sums it up. Why do people not understand it was the lack of communication that A. iPhone 6 and 6S had defective batteries. B. They tried to patch the issue by limiting your performance to conceal the defective batteries. C. Apple never acknowledged the problem and exactly what they were doing and to the extent they were doing it. And D. They allowed customers to show up at their stores, Run Apple approved battery tests that by all means showed a healthy battery, but actually wasn’t healthy enough to run full throttle so denied battery replacement effectively forcing customers to deal with a 2 year old phone that ran like an Android device or buy a new phone.

Apple was in the wrong on this. Period. Sure there are sue happy customers and lawyers but come on, Apple didn’t exactly put themselves in a good position.
This is just a jumbled misunderstanding of the issue.

The batteries themselves are not defective. The issue arises when the battery degraded (which is just how chemistry works, not a flaw) to the point where they couldn’t supply the peak draw of the processor under certain circumstances (it’s not that the batteries can’t deliver, it’s that a naturally degraded battery can’t. This is an important distinction) which resulted in a safety shutdown.

I say safety because all the news stories of vaporizers blowing up are the result of batteries not handling peak loads (which is high with a heating element) but the pens still trying anyway which results in a runaway thermal process.

Now, clearly their testing was not correct as phones were passing while the throttling still occurred. You’re 100% right on that point. But none of this was EVER about defective *batteries* themselves.
 
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Macaholic868

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Feb 2, 2017
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Here’s the problem I have with class action lawsuits. The lawyers walk away with millions and members of the class walk away with next to nothing individually. I’ve been a member of a few “classes” and have maybe gotten $25 or $30 back. It’s a waste of time for everybody but the lawyers.
 

Crowbot

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2018
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Well, Apple WAS slowing down iPhones am I right?
Yes, to keep them from shutting down under load. Apple's only mistake was not explicitly explaining to owners that this was happening. I don't think that's worth a monetary lawsuit.