370,000 people in South Korea are suing Apple

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iphone 8
Customers aren't happy about Apple's iPhone speed throttling.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The first ever class action lawsuit filed against Apple in South Korea involves 370,000 individuals — or the equivalent of one out of every 138 people who live in the country.

As with many of the recent lawsuits filed against Apple, this particular class action suit accuses Apple of purposely slowing down the speed of older iPhones with a software update. The group filed its suit with the Seoul Central District Court on Thursday, demanding 2.2 million won ($2,000) per person affected by the iPhone speed throttling.

The suit could eventually include even more people than 370,000. The South Korean law firm involved in the case, Hannuri Law, is accepting applications from additional people who want to join. When we originally covered the case at the end of December 2017, “just” 67,000 iPhone users had added their names to the list.

Under Korean law, the firm claims that Apple was obligated to inform customers about “all aspects of software upgrades” to allow them to make their purchasing decisions. It suggests that this guidance was not followed.

Apple’s iPhone slowdown controversy

Apple has already admitted to slowing down some iPhones as they get older, although it has said that this is done to prolong the life of their lithium-ion batteries, rather than anything intended to push users to upgrade.

“Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple has explained. “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.”

It has also notified customers that it will reduce the price on out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements by $50, putting the cost at just $29. The offer covers anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced. Customers can take advantage of the new price starting later this month. It will be available worldwide until December 2018.

Unfortunately, this controversy has prompted a number of lawsuits to be filed against Apple. At present, 12 lawsuits have been brought against the company, while demands for explanations have been made by officials in countries including Brazil, South Korea, and France.

Via: Patently Apple