iPhone Owners Sue Apple Over Slowdown Admission
Two iPhone owners based in Los Angeles sued Apple on Thursday, a day after the Silicon Valley technology giant admitted it slows down older iPhones to prevent unexpected battery-related shutdowns.
Plaintiffs Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas filed the lawsuit in the Central District Court of California.
They 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.”
Apple did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.
As iPhone owners for “several years,” Bogdanovich and Speas are seeking class-action status, targeting both nationwide and California classes of those who owned iPhone models earlier than the iPhone 8.
They filed the lawsuit after Apple acknowledged Wednesday for the first time that it installed a feature last year for iPhone 6, 6S and 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.
Bogdanovich and Speas 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.
Bogdanovich and Speas, represented by the Los Angeles-based Wilshire Law Firm, 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.