In the United States, where they just love lawsuits, Apple is now facing eight lawsuits filed in various federal courts in the week since the company opened up about the year-old software change.
Some customers are unhappy the company has been less than transparent about the performance throttling feature, which they see as a ploy to drive sales of new handsets.
All the lawsuits – filed in U.S. District Courts in California, New York and Illinois – seek class-action to represent potentially millions of iPhone owners nationwide.
One of the lawsuits, filed Thursday in San Francisco, said that ‘the batteries’ inability to handle the demand created by processor speeds’ without the software patch was a defect.
‘Rather than curing the battery defect by providing a free battery replacement for all affected iPhones, Apple sought to mask the battery defect,’ according to the complaint.
The plaintiff in that case is represented by attorney Jeffrey Fazio, who represented plaintiffs in a $53-million settlement with Apple in 2013 over its handling of iPhone warranty claims.
The problem now seen is that users over the last year could have blamed an aging computer processor for app crashes and sluggish performance – and chose to buy a new phone – when the true cause may have been a weak battery that could have been replaced for a fraction of the cost, some of the lawsuits state.
The lawsuits seek unspecified damages in addition to, in some cases, reimbursement.
A couple of the complaints seek court orders barring Apple from throttling iPhone computer speeds or requiring notification in future instances.
Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas from Los Angeles have filed a lawsuit with the US District Court for the Central District of California.
They are accusing Apple of interfering with their devices without consent.
The pair are trying to get the case certified to cover all people in the United States who owned an Apple phone older than the iPhone 8.
Their application for the lawsuit states:
‘Plaintiffs and Class Members never consented to allow Defendants to slow their iPhones.
‘As a result of Defendant’s wrongful actions, Plaintiffs and Class Members had their phone slowed down, and thereby it interfered with Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ use or possession of their iPhones.’
A second lawsuit, filed by five plaintiffs in the Northern District of the State of Illinois, accuses Apple of deliberately keeping its power management features under wraps to persuade people to upgrade to newer devices.
‘Apple’s iOS updates purposefully neglected to explain that its purposeful throttling down of older model devices and resulting lost or diminished operating performance could be remedied by replacing the batteries of these devices,’ the lawsuit states.
‘Instead, Apple’s decision to purposefully slowdown or throttle down these devices was undertaken to fraudulently induce consumers to purchase the latest iPhone versions of the iPhone 7, as well as new phones such as the iPhone 8 and iPhone X .’