Nine lawsuits have been filed against United States multinational technology company Apple for fraud, after the company said it slowed down older iPhones to compensate for poor battery performance, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Eight of the nine lawsuits have been filed in the US District Courts in California, New York and Illinois. They seek class action against Apple to represent potentially crores of iPhone users around the United States. A similar case was lodged in an Israeli court on Monday, the newspaper Haaretz reported. Apple did not respond to an email seeking comment on the filings.
The lawsuits seek unspecified damages from Apple, in addition to reimbursement for the phones purchased. Two of the complaints ask for court orders barring Apple from reducing iPhone computer speeds, or at least informing customers before it does so.
A $125 million class action lawsuit was also been filed by two Israelis in Tel Aviv on Monday, Haaretz reported on Tuesday. The Israelis claim that Apple breached its duty toward consumers by concealing information. The suit accuses Apple of “breaching its basic duties toward users by failing to disclose that ‘innocent’ software updates would have negative implications for their phone use”.
On December 20, Apple admitted that it ensures iPhones with older batteries slow down so that they do not start shutting down unexpectedly. While some users said it was a strategy adopted by Apple to force customers to upgrade their phones, the company denied it.
The root cause for old iPhones’ slowdown was first discovered by a group of Reddit users in early December. Some users found that replacing iPhone batteries would get the running speed back to normal. Before that, since there is no easy way to return to the old operating system once the new version is installed, owners of iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 who have updated their phones are either stuck with slower phones or left with no choices but to buy a new one.
Many iPhone owners argue that, if a battery degrades to a point where it can’t support the CPU after a year of use, it is considered a serious defect. To make things worse, not disclosing the software updates’ negative effects makes it even more like a conspiracy to trick people into buying new iPhones.
Perhaps to Apple’s great disappointment, the sales plan doesn’t seem to work too well. iPhone manufacturers in Taiwan are said to lower sales forecast for iPhone X by 40 percent, CNBC reported. Following the news, Apple’s share price fell more than 2.5 percent in premarket trading Tuesday.
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