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An EU consumer advocacy group has filed class-action lawsuits against Apple in both Belgium and Spain for "unfair and misleading commercial practices" related to the iPhone performance management system it introduced in iOS 10.2.1 without informing customers.

iphone-6s-battery.jpg

Brought by Euroconsumers, which describes itself as the "world's leading consumer cluster organization," the suits allege that the system introduced via iOS update in order to preserve battery life amount to "planned obsolescence."

In a press release on Wednesday, the group stated:
The lawsuits cover owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus and alleges Apple engaged in unfair and misleading commercial practices. The lawsuits ask for compensation of on average at least 60 euro for each affected consumer in Belgium and Spain.
Apple introduced power management features for older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns during times of peak power draw on devices with degraded batteries.

These power management features throttle the processor on older iPhones with less than optimal batteries, resulting in slower performance. Though introduced early in 2017, the power management features were not widely publicized until late 2017, leading many customers to feel deceived by Apple.

Apple apologized for not better explaining how battery health could impact performance and has since implemented a policy offering no-questions-asked $29 battery replacements for the iPhone 6 and later.

Earlier this year, the company also agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit in the United States that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models.

Euroconsumers references the latter settlement along with more recent state-level U.S. settlements in its press release, and says it has two identical suits planned for Italy and Portugal. Together, the four complaints seek about 180 million euros in damages from Apple, according to the Financial Times.
"Consumers are increasingly upset by products wearing out too quickly, the iPhone 6 models being a very concrete example of that," said Els Bruggeman, head of Policy and Enforcement at Euroconsumers. "Not only does it cause frustration and financial harm, from an environmental point of view it is also utterly irresponsible. Consumers want to be treated with respect, demand fair compensation and more sustainable phones. Euroconsumers is sending a clear message to Apple that planned obsolescence can no longer be accepted."

Article Link: Consumer Group Sues Apple in Belgium and Spain Over iPhone Throttling
 

2979382

Cancelled
Aug 12, 2017
220
476
Jaaaayzus, how long are they gonna keep whining about this? Products wearing out too quickly? My 6S was in perfect condition with a full day's battery life after over 3 years when I sold it, my XS still delivers the same 2 days' worth of battery-life after 2 years, and I sold my 7 year old MacBook Pro for 500 quid in fully working condition. Maybe they should have a look at other brands, cause from where I'm standing Apple still builds stuff that lasts longer than many other companies.
 

laptech

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2013
1,867
2,463
Earth
How does an update to preserve battery life amount to "planned obsolescence"?

Preserving battery life would seem to me to be quite the opposite. ?
It is because Apple did not explain to iphone owners what they were doing so when the update was implemented and iphone owners saw the phone had battery issues, it would prompt one of two things happening, getting a new battery or getting a new phone. Getting a new phone is what 'planned obsolescence' is all about, in that by introducing the power management feature, Apple 'planned' for owners of older iphones to ditch their old iphones due to battery issue an purchase a new one.
 

farewelwilliams

Suspended
Jun 18, 2014
4,966
18,040
It is because Apple did not explain to iphone owners what they were doing so when the update was implemented and iphone owners saw the phone had battery issues, it would prompt one of two things happening, getting a new battery or getting a new phone. Getting a new phone is what 'planned obsolescence' is all about, in that by introducing the power management feature, Apple 'planned' for owners of older iphones to ditch their old iphones due to battery issue an purchase a new one.
no. a phone that randomly shuts down would cause the user to buy a new phone.

a phone where the OS updates stops after three years instead of 5-6 causes the user to buy a new phone

there are many other ways Apple can encourage the user to buy a new phone but for some reason, people like you attribute fixing a shutdown issue to prolong the life of the device as planned obsolescence. makes absolutely no sense.
 

Nucleartool

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2020
2
29
You guys saying people are whining for nothing are all nuts. Apple likely had good intentions but the end effect after the update was for people to think their phones were out of date and slow and so they decided they probably needed a new one, instead of a battery replacement

- Because they didn’t know the throttling was happening!!! -
 

farewelwilliams

Suspended
Jun 18, 2014
4,966
18,040
Did you actually experience it or are you just assuming that? I've actually replaced the degraded battery on 6S but did not have any slow downs or shutdowns even before doing so.
i had a 6+ and i experienced it.

apple implemented it on the 6 first and then the 6s since the batteries were still fresh.
 

SmOgER

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2014
805
89
i had a 6+ and i experienced it.

apple implemented it on the 6 first and then the 6s since the batteries were still fresh.
I'm sure by iOS 13 they have implemented it on both phones. That's when I was using 6S with old degraded battery and running 3D games on it without any issues whatsoever.
 
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newyorksole

macrumors 601
Apr 2, 2008
4,649
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New York.
Jaaaayzus, how long are they gonna keep whining about this? Products wearing out too quickly? My 6S was in perfect condition with a full day's battery life after over 3 years when I sold it, my XS still delivers the same 2 days' worth of battery-life after 2 years, and I sold my 7 year old MacBook Pro for 500 quid in fully working condition. Maybe they should have a look at other brands, cause from where I'm standing Apple still builds stuff that lasts longer than many other companies.
Lol it’s just about the money. They don’t care that most Apple products last and work very well. They know this, but are jumping at an opportunity for some cash.
 

iBluetooth

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2016
494
1,294
How does an update to preserve battery life amount to "planned obsolescence"?

Preserving battery life would seem to me to be quite the opposite. ?
Because they don't understand that it's general engineering practice to reduce the power load if the battery can't handle it. They are assuming "planned obsolescence" by reading the news about the event.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,543
11,239
NC
Because those updates also throttled your phone and led you to believe you needed a new one when you only needed a new battery.

And if your phone shuts off unexpectedly... you'd also believe you needed a new one when you only needed a new battery.

Either throttling or dying... neither is a good outcome.
 
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Radeon85

macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2012
755
1,299
South Wales, UK
You guys saying people are whining for nothing are all nuts. Apple likely had good intentions but the end effect after the update was for people to think their phones were out of date and slow and so they decided they probably needed a new one, instead of a battery replacement

- Because they didn’t know the throttling was happening!!! -

Exactly, Apple could have avoided all of this hassle when they added the ability to throttle phones. All they had to do was warn users that this phone is being throttled as the battery is aging, but no they secretly added it originally without any warning whatsoever.

At least with a warning people could have gotten the battery replaced to return the phone to it's normal performance.
 

Miha_v

macrumors regular
May 18, 2018
162
333
Apple deserves all the fines they can get for this, hopefully they learned a bit about transparency. Like it was said, they would have avoided all the trouble by simply being open about it. I still remember my iPhone 5 becoming slower with each update and rumours about throttling being louder and louder (fans blatantly denying such thing is even possible, of course)... until Apple was caught.
 

amartinez1660

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2014
1,364
1,297
Jaaaayzus, how long are they gonna keep whining about this? Products wearing out too quickly? My 6S was in perfect condition with a full day's battery life after over 3 years when I sold it, my XS still delivers the same 2 days' worth of battery-life after 2 years, and I sold my 7 year old MacBook Pro for 500 quid in fully working condition. Maybe they should have a look at other brands, cause from where I'm standing Apple still builds stuff that lasts longer than many other companies.
What’s worrisome is that these lawsuits are going through by the millions of dollars.
In the future, if another similar situation ever happens, Apple might decide to just let the battery or phone die instead of applying a patch that would protect it and let it last longer, because the well-intended approach has backfired spectacularly for years on now.
 

Smigit

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2011
359
207
And if your phone shuts off unexpectedly... you'd also believe you needed a new one when you only needed a new battery.

Either throttling or dying... neither is a good outcome.
No it’s not a good outcome.

A good outcome is Apples engineers documenting the behaviour and having support staff trained so that when a customer walks into a store, instead of being told to buy a new device, wasting time on a factory reset (again!) or blaming third party apps/devs, support could instead provide appropriate advice and sell the user a battery replacement instead of a new handset. At the very least users can make an informed decision. That’s basically where we have landed and no ones fussed about how it’s now handled.

The lawsuits aren’t because of the behaviour of the device being inappropriate, they’re over Apples lack of transparency and the repercussions that had for paying customers seeking support.
 

ipponrg

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,306
2,076
What’s worrisome is that these lawsuits are going through by the millions of dollars.
In the future, if another similar situation ever happens, Apple might decide to just let the battery or phone die instead of applying a patch that would protect it and let it last longer, because the well-intended approach has backfired spectacularly for years on now.

I am curious what "well intended" means here. Do you mean before or after Apple was transparent about what was going on?

It sounds contradictory to express your intentions without being transparent from the beginning.
 
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