iPhone Owners File Class Action Lawsuit Over Slowdown Feature in Older Models
Two Los Angeles-based iPhone owners have filed a lawsuit against Apple seeking class action status a day after the company admitted that it slows down older iPhones to prevent unexpected battery-related shutdowns. According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, the plaintiffs, Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, filed the lawsuit in the Central District Court of California.
The plaintiffs argue that Apple installed a new feature to slow down older iPhones without the owners’ knowledge or permission. They also say it intentionally interfered with the phones to damage them leading iPhone owners to buy new phones or new batteries. Bogdanovich and Speas filed the lawsuit after Apple acknowledged this week for the first time that it installed a feature last year for the iPhone 6, 6S, and SE models that have a degraded and aged battery to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
Widespread Reaction on Social Media
However, the feature has diminished the computing power of the iPhones in order to stop overuse of the battery power. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status targeting both nationwide and California classes of those who owned iPhone models earlier than the iPhone 8. Apple’s statement has drawn widespread reactions on social media and has also given rise to speculation by some about whether the Apple slows down older iPhones to pressure users to upgrade to a newer model.
The lawsuit alleges that Apple breached implied contracts with them and other consumers by deliberately slowing down older models and failing to disclose that little detail when consumers buy those older models. They also state in the complaint that Apple never sought their permission to install this feature and did not offer them the option to turn off the feature. The plaintiffs are represented by Los Angeles-based Wilshire Law Firm.
Holding Corporations Accountable
As California class action attorneys, we have always maintained that the class action lawsuit is one of the most effective tools in consumers’ toolkits to hold large corporations accountable for their wrongdoings and unethical actions. In this particular case, Apple may have potentially breached its contract with consumers by failing to disclose at the time of purchase that it installed this slowdown feature in older model phones.
What’s worse, this feature could have prompted millions who didn’t know about the feature, to upgrade their phones because they were slow. We will be closely watching this case to see how it affects the manner in which cell phone manufacturers and tech companies operate in the future.