Millions of iPhone users may soon get a payout from Apple. The US technology giant is facing a multimillion-pound legal claim after being accused of slowing down older devices in a bid to save battery life. The software update, which was originally pushed out in 2017, affected devices including the iPhone 6, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X and was aimed at slowing down the overall performance to help preserve power and stop devices from switching off without warning.
That may sound like a feature phone users would want but consumer rights campaigner, Justin Gutmann, says that Apple didn’t disclose the update at the time it was released and that may have forced some users to buy new iPhones as they had no idea why their devices had suddenly slowed. He says Apple wasn’t transparent enough because they didn’t inform users about this new software tool or that it would reduce the performance of a device.
Gutmann says that Apple should have introduced a battery replacement scheme rather than throttling the phones themselves.
He’s now asking that the US firm pay £750million in damages with it thought around 25 million people could be able to claim.
Speaking about his case, Justin Gutmann said: “Instead of doing the honourable and legal thing by their customers and offering a free replacement, repair service or compensation, Apple instead misled people by concealing a tool in software updates that slowed their devices by up to 58%.
“I’m launching this case so that millions of iPhone users across the UK will receive redress for the harm suffered by Apple’s actions.”
Although Apple has acknowledged that it did slow devices it said it did so in a bid to extend the life of the iPhone. At the time, the company said it has never, and would never do anything, to intentionally shorten the life of a product, and Apple chief executive Tim Cook publicly apologised over the incident, saying the company never tried to mislead anyone over the tool.
As devices get older, batteries often suffer from degradation issues and Apple says that, without the performance tool update, many users could have faced devices that would shut down without warning due to not being able to supply enough power to keep up with the demands of the processor.
In a statement, Apple said: “We have never – and would never – do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.
“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.”
Here’s a list of all the devices that were affected: iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models.
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