A consumer advocate has launched legal action against Apple, linked to an incident in 2017 surrounding a power management tool on older iPhone models.
Justin Gutmann has accused the tech giant of slowing down iPhone devices — a process known as “throttling” — by hiding a power management tool in software updates to combat performance issues and prevent older devices from suddenly shutting down.
Gutmann has filed a lawsuit in the Competition Appeals Court seeking damages of approximately £768 million for up to 25 million UK owners of a range of older iPhone models.
He claims that Apple misled users about the incident by pressuring them to download software updates that it claimed would improve the performance of some devices but actually slowed them down.
The claim refers to the introduction of a power management tool released in a software update for iPhone users in January 2017 that was released to slow down older iPhone models with old batteries, which may have difficulties running the device. latest iOS software to prevent abrupt device shutdown.
Gutmann said that information about this tool was not included in the description of the software update download at the time or that it would slow down the user’s device.
He claims that Apple introduced this tool to disguise the fact that iPhone batteries couldn’t handle the new processing demands of iOS and that instead of recalling products or replacing batteries, the company pressured users to download batteries. software updates.
The legal claim says Apple added a mention of the tool in the update’s release notes to its website at a later date, but says the company didn’t make it clear that it would slow down older iPhones.
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The claim relates to iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models.
It seeks compensation for each property model and is an exclusion claim, meaning clients will not need to actively participate in the case to seek damages.
Gutmann said on the matter: “Instead of doing the honorable and legal thing for its customers and offering a free replacement, repair service or compensation, Apple tricked people into hiding a tool in software updates that slowed their devices up to 58%.
“I am pitching this case for millions of iPhone users across the UK to receive redress for damages suffered by Apple’s actions.
“If this case is successful, I hope that the dominant companies will re-evaluate their business models and avoid this type of conduct.”
In a statement, Apple said, “We have never done and will never do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product or degrade the user experience to drive customer updates.
“Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”