‘Batterygate’ rumbles on as European class-action suit demands damages

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iphone
Issue affected older iPhones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Blame an iOS update if you’d like, but Apple’s iPhone speed-throttling saga continues to progress slowly. The latest update is legal action being leveled at Apple in Europe in the form of a class-action lawsuit for iPhone 6 and 6s series devices sold in Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

The advocacy group behind the suit, Euroconsumers, said Wednesday that it is bringing a case to cover up to 2 million handsets that fall under this category. “Consumers are increasingly upset by products wearing out too quickly, the iPhone 6 models being a very concrete example of that,” Els Bruggeman, head of policy and enforcement at Euroconsumers, said in a statement.

News of the iPhone slowdown controversy broke in 2017. That year, Apple admitted that it issued a software update that caused certain older iPhones to slow down. Apple insists it did not do this to shorten the smartphones’ lifespans. Instead, Apple says it made the change to prolong the life of the iPhones’ lithium-ion batteries. The changes helped flatten out speed problems with aging iPhones.

Apple’s response to ‘Batterygate’

At the time, Apple apologized by introducing a temporary battery replacement program that reduced the cost by $50 to just $29. Apple said it would never do anything to “intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product” for customers. With iOS 11.3, it added a battery health information feature. This also lets users turn off the speed-throttling performance controls if they desire.

Last month, Apple paid out $113 million to settle an investigation into “Batterygate” by 34 U.S. states. Inevitably, the resolution of that lawsuit triggered others. Euroconsumers wants European users “treated with the same fairness and respect” as U.S. consumers. It’s asking for 60 euros ($72.30) as an average per customer. That could mean a total charge of $217 million for Apple.

Source: CNN