Apple is currently facing a mass lawsuit in the UK over allegations of hiding defective batteries in millions of iPhones. The claim is that Apple used software updates to “throttle” older iPhone models and limit performance, which resulted in the need for users to purchase newer models. The lawsuit, which is being heard in London, accuses Apple of hiding battery issues in certain phone models. The plaintiffs are seeking up to £1.6 billion ($2 billion) plus interest.
Apple has denied the allegations and has branded the case as “baseless”. The company’s lawyer, David Wolfson, pointed out that the lawsuit claims that “not all batteries could deliver the peak power demanded in all circumstances at all times,” which is a common issue with all battery-powered devices. The legal team that filed the lawsuit has referred to settlements in the US in 2020, where Apple settled a class-action lawsuit and a regulatory action by US states over iPhone battery issues. They argue that these settlements show that Apple did not deny the allegations. Apple had also committed to being “clearer and more upfront” with iPhone users about battery health to Britain’s competition watchdog in 2019.
The lawsuit is a continuation of a series of battery-related issues that Apple has faced over the years. In 2017, the company admitted to slowing down older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns caused by aging batteries. Apple apologized for not being transparent about this practice and offered cheaper battery replacements to affected customers.
However, this did not end the controversy surrounding Apple’s battery-related practices. In December 2017, Apple faced multiple lawsuits, including class-action lawsuits in the US and Israel, over the iPhone slowdown issue. In March 2018, Apple agreed to a $500 million settlement in the US to resolve the class-action lawsuit.
While Apple maintains that its iPhones’ batteries were not defective, except for a small number of iPhone 6s models for which it offered free battery replacements, the accusations against the company have not gone away. The plaintiffs in the current UK lawsuit argue that Apple concealed issues with batteries in certain phone models and “surreptitiously” installed a power management tool that limited performance.
It remains to be seen how the UK lawsuit will play out, but the outcome could have significant implications for Apple. If the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs, it could lead to similar lawsuits in other countries and dent the company’s reputation. Apple has a history of putting up a strong legal defense, but the battery-related issues are not going away anytime soon.
In conclusion, the current lawsuit against Apple is just one chapter in a long-running saga over the company’s battery-related practices. While Apple denies any wrongdoing, the accusations against the company have not gone away. The outcome of the lawsuit in the UK could have significant implications for Apple and could lead to similar lawsuits in other countries.