Apple iPhone Slowdown – Apple Inc. Sued by iPhone Owners
The Mercury News reported (“Two iPhone owners sue Apple over iPhone slowdown admission, seek class-action status”) that
Two iPhone owners based in Los Angeles sued Apple . . . a day after the Silicon Valley technology giant admitted it slows down older iPhones to prevent unexpected battery-related shutdowns.
Plaintiffs . . . filed the lawsuit in the Central District Court of California.
[The Plaintiffs] argue Apple installed a new feature to throttle old iPhones without the owners’ permission. They also allege it intentionally interfered with the phones to damage them, which became a “substantial factor in causing (iPhone owners) to replace iPhones, buy new batteries, or loss of usage of their iPhone.”
. . .
[The Plaintiffs] filed the lawsuit after Apple acknowledged . . . for the first time that [Apple] installed a feature last year for iPhone 6, [iPhone] 6S and [iPhone] SE models that have a degraded and aged battery, to prevent unexpected shutdowns. However, the feature lessened the computing power of the iPhones to stop overuse of battery power.
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices,” Apple said in a statement to multiple media outlets. “Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”
The statement drew widespread reactions on social media. It also fanned speculation by some about whether Apple slows down old iPhones to pressure users to upgrade to a newer model.
[The Plaintiffs] allege Apple breached implied contracts with them and other iPhone owners by “purposefully slowing down older iPhone models when new models come out and by failing to properly disclose that” when they bought their iPhones.
The Plaintiffs, according to the story, “. . . argued that Apple never asked them for permission to install this feature and did not give them the option to choose or bargain a way to turn off the feature.”
Apple iPhone Slowdown– Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Deceptive Trade Practices & False Advertising
On December 22, 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, against Apple Inc. According to the class action complaint, the lawsuit was brought
[o]n behalf of owners of all versions of the iPhone 6 and/or iPhone 7 who were harmed when their devices’ software was updated to any of the following: iOS 10.2.1 (released on January 23, 2017); iOS 10.3 (released on March 27, 2017); iOS 10.3.1 (released on April 3, 2017); iOS 10.3.2 (released on May 15, 207); iOS 10.3.3 (released on July 19, 2017) . . . iOS 11.0.1 (released on September 26, 2017); iOS 11.0.2 (released on October 3, 2017); iOS 11.0.3 (released on October 11, 2017); iOS 11.1 (released on October 31, 2017); iOS 11.1.1 (released on November 9, 2017); iOS 11.1.2 (released on November 16, 2017); iOS 11.2 (released on December 2, 2017); and iOS 11.2.1 (released on December 13, 2017) . . .. [Emphasis added]
The class action complaint also alleges that
Defendant Apple Inc. . . . engaged in deceptive trade practices and false advertising in violation . . . when it represented that the iOS 10 and iOS 11 [u]pdates were compatible with and support iPhone 6s and iPhone 7s. Specifically, Apple failed to warn iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 owners that the iOS 10 and iOS 11 [u]pdates could significantly and negatively interfere with their phones’ performance. To the contrary, Apple specifically touted the increased phone performance that would result from the iOS 10 and iOS 11 updates. Apple has since admitted[,] however that, through the iOS 10 and iOS 11 [u]pdates, Apple deliberately prevents chips in iPhone 6s and iPhone 7s from reaching their full processing power. In other words, instead of enhancing the performance of iPhone 6s and iPhone 7s as Apple represented, the iOS 10 and iOS 11 [u]pdates were designed to limit the devices’ performance in certain circumstances.
Having updated their phones, Plaintiffs and owners of iPhone 6s and iPhone 7s must either continue using devices that experience significant lag time that interferes with their ordinary use, or purchase a new phone for hundreds of dollars. [Emphasis added]
Apple iPhone Slowdown – Apple Admits Slowing Down iPhone Devices
Newstalk.com reported (“Apple facing class action lawsuits after admitting to slowing down old iPhones”) that class actions allege that Apple “deceived customers by slowing down older phones.” Newstalk.com reported that
[e]arlier this week, the company admitted slowing down outdated iPhone devices with low-capacity batteries, saying it is a way of protecting the devices’ components.
The first lawsuit was filed in California and requests that Apple stop reducing the processor speed of affected devices and pay compensation to affected customers.
The Chicago Sun Times reported another case in which citizens in Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina are suing Apple on behalf of customers who own iPhone 5, [iPhone] 6 and [iPhone] 7 devices.
The complainants allege that Apple was “deceptive, immoral, and unethical” because the technology was designed to “purposefully slow down or ‘throttle down’ the performance speeds” of the iPhones.
Apple iPhone Slowdown – Apple Admits Slowing Older Model iPhones With Low-Capacity Batteries
Newstalk.com reported (“Apple admits slowing down old iPhone models with flagging batteries”) that Apple admitted old iPhones were slowed down with low-capacity devices to protect the components of the devices. Newstalk.com reported that
Apple has . . . admitted that the slowing of the [iPhone’s] central processing unit (CPU) does take place, although not to force consumers to upgrade their devices.
The act of slowing down a computer processor is called “downclocking” or “underclocking”.
Following a study by a Reddit user who claimed that Apple’s tech automatically slowed phones when the battery has a diminished charge capacity, the company said this was due to a need to protect electronic components.
In a statement, Apple said that, as they age, lithium-ion batteries used in its phones become less able to provide the top levels of electrical current needed.
The problems with peak current draws especially occur when batteries are cold or low on charge – “which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components”, Apple said.
iPhone users had complained about their devices turning off abruptly even when they had a significant amount of charge left.
Apple iPhone Slowdown – Apple Admits to Intentionally Slowing Down CPU Frequencies of Older iPhone Models
Complex.com reported (“Apple Hit With Class Action Lawsuit for Purposely Slowing Down Older iPhone Models”) that “Apple may have made a misstep by admitting to intentionally slowing down CPU frequencies on older iPhone models, because some legal trouble is soon headed their way.” Complex.com reported that two individuals alleged in a class action lawsuit that
Apple’s policy of slowing down older iPhone models purposely targets the consumers’ wallets and disrupts the customer experience. [The Plaintiffs] also are claiming that Apple’s tactic of slowing down performance speeds of the iPhone in order to conserve battery life was never requested or agreed upon by customers, not to mention an obvious tactic to coerce people into forking over cash for an upgrade.
The discovery about Apple’s purposeful speed switching was first brought to light via a Reddit post, where a user shared screenshots of the performance speeds before and after getting a battery replacement (once a new battery was installed, the speed went back to factory settings.)
Apple iPhone Slowdown – The Reddit Post
Complex.com reported that
[a] recent Reddit post posited that Apple was intentionally slowing down iPhones with low-capacity batteries. And that same post concluded that most iPhone users whose phones have slowed probably attribute it to iOS updates.
A number of people (including the original poster) confirmed that when they did replace their batteries their phone performance and CPU clock speeds returned to normal. As pointed out by The Verge, this is relevant (especially if you have an outdated iPhone) because users whose phones slow down are probably tempted to pony up their dough for an unnecessarily expensive upgrade.
The Reddit post can be viewed by clicking Apple iPhone Slowdown Reddit post.
The Verge story referenced by Complex.com can be viewed by clicking “Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance.”
Apple iPhone Slowdown – Is Your iPhone Slowing Down?
CNN Tech posted a story (“What to do if you think Apple’s slowing down your phone”), which contains information about, among other things, why Apple is slowing down phones and whether your iPhone is affected.
Apple iPhone Slowdown – iPhone 6 & iPhone 7 Owners
If you own, or owned, an iPhone 6 or iPhone 7 updated to iOS 10.2.1 (released January 23, 2017); iOS 10.3 (released March 27, 2017); iOS 10.3.1 (released April 3, 2017); iOS 10.3.2 (released May 15, 207); iOS 10.3.3 (released July 19, 2017); iOS 11.0.1 (released September 26, 2017); iOS 11.0.2 ( released October 3, 2017); iOS 11.0.3 (released October 11, 2017); iOS 11.1 (released October 31, 2017); iOS 11.1.1 (released November 9, 2017); iOS 11.1.2 (released November 16, 2017); iOS 11.2 (released December 2, 2017) and iOS 11.2.1 (released December 13, 2017) and have questions about the iPhone-related class action lawsuits or wish to discuss your potential legal rights, please fill out the form on the right above or send an e-mail to [email protected].