iPhone throttling lawsuits will be combined into one giant class action

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Ex-student sentenced to 3 years in prison for massive iPhone scam
At least 59 lawsuits have been filed against Apple so far.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iPhone throttling iOS update may have died down in the news cycle, but that doesn’t mean that the complaints are going away. According to a new report, Apple currently has at least 59 separate lawsuits being leveled against it by customers on this charge.

That number could soon be reduced, however, since a meeting in Atlanta this week will aim to combine all U.S. cases into one giant class action lawsuit against Apple.

During the meeting, which takes place on March 29, a lead attorney and court location will also be chosen. In many ways, this case resembles the “Antennagate” suit against Apple, which resulted in the company paying out $315 million — which was paid as either a free bumper case or $15 per affected iPhone customer.

According to legal experts speaking with the Wall Street Journal, however, this latest case is less likely to succeed.

“Apple has done enough since acknowledging the software change to make clear that it was aiming to improve user performance, said Wayne Lam, a smartphone analyst with the research firm IHS Markit , adding that the class-action suit ‘won’t amount to a hill of beans.'”

Ultimately, though, it’s less likely to be the financial penalty to Apple (if any), and more the negative impact on the brand that will hurt. While Apple’s certainly got plenty of goodwill in this area, that’s the part that will do more damage.

iPhone throttling controversy

Apple has already admitted to slowing down iPhones as they get older, although it maintains that this is done to prolong the life of their lithium-ion batteries — thereby maintaining performance and allowing them to run for longer between charges.

As a make-good Apple has 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 in late January. It will be available worldwide until December 2018.

Apple will also introduce new iOS features letting users more easily keep tabs on their device’s battery life.