Apple Inc is the newest addition to the list of companies that are facing some or the other legal issue these days. The tech giant is facing a lawsuit in the UK which states that the company has been misleading its customers. Further, if this lawsuit actually materializes into something big, Apple might have to pay hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation, similar to Meta’s case.
The said lawsuit blames Apple for having lied to its customers about the software updates it provides. The company is said to have abused its dominant market position to reassure its customers in believing that software updates from late 2016 improved the battery life of their devices, whereas, in reality, the updates made it worse. Apple, because of this fiasco, is facing a lawsuit in the UK which is seeking $935 million in damages.
The lawsuit is being filed in the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London. It was done on behalf of close to 25 million UK iPhone users. The users had used around 10 different models of the iPhones ranging from iPhone 6 to iPhone X. Justin Gutmann, a consumer rights campaigner, filed this as the representative action. The suit called out the company for unfair commercial practices.
If the lawsuit is to be believed, the company released a power management software update, first released in January of 2017. This was the update that was said to affect the performances of all the previously mentioned iPhones. Gutmann also states how Apple kept a power management tool from the updates under the covers just to hide that the phone’s batteries couldn’t handle the new software processing demands, which in turn caused the shutdowns and glitches.
“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. If this case is successful, I hope dominant companies will re-evaluate their business models and refrain from this kind of conduct.”Justin Gutmann, when asked about why he chose to stand up now.
The dispute is being led by a litigation funder called Balance Legal Capital. The advantage here for the customers is that this is opt-in opt-out litigation. This means that although the consumers will need to provide their details at a given date if the suit prevails, they don’t need to actively sign up to be a part of the representative suit. A website has been launched just so that the general public is in sync with what’s happening with the claim.
He also added, “Instead of doing the honorable 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%.”
Justin Gutmann and his lawyers are determined to get the consumers the compensation that they deserve. It will be an interesting battle to see between these lawyers and big tech firms, as it plays like a classic David vs Goliath story.