| Cult of Mac

Apple lawsuit alleges startup poached engineers who stole chip secrets


Apple's lawsuit against Rivos alleges recruited engineers stole proprietary information.
Apple's lawsuit against Rivos alleges recruited engineers stole proprietary M1 chip information.
Photo: Apple

Apple filed a lawsuit Friday against a “stealth mode” startup known as Rivos, saying it poached engineers who stole proprietary information as part of the recruitment process.

Cupertino said Rivos plans to design chips that will compete with its own — and starting with Apple’s own technology.

Apple sues maker of infamous Pegasus spyware that targets iPhones


Pegasus spyware FAQ
Apple is going to court to block further development of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
Photo: NSO Group/Cult of Mac

Apple filed a lawsuit Tuesday against NSO Group, the company that makes Pegasus spyware used by some countries to hack into iPhones. Apple says the goal is to hold NSO Group “accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users.”

NSO Group claims Pegasus is only used by governments to fight crime, but there are accusations that it’s being used it to hack the smartphones of activists, politicians, journalists and other individuals.

‘Duplicitous conduct’ earns Fortnite extended App Store ban


Epic Games v. Apple is just getting started
If you thought the war between Apple and epic Games was over, think again.
Graphic: Epic Games/Cult of Mac

The first phase of the legal war between Apple and Epic Games is over, and a Federal court agreed with the game developer in some of the major points in their lawsuit. But Apple refuses to reinstate Fortnite and other Epic titles to its App Store during the appeals process.

The iPhone maker says this is the result of “Epic’s duplicitous conduct” leading to the lawsuit.

Lawyers prepare class-action lawsuit over M1 MacBook screen cracks


M1 MacBook screen cracks lead to lawsuit. Look out, Cupertino.
Look out, Cupertino.
Photo: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr CC

Apple could soon be on the receiving end of another class-action lawsuit, with lawyers currently investigating the company over reports that its new M1 MacBook models are vulnerable to screen cracks during normal usage.

A growing number of users complain in online forums that their MacBook displays suffered what the attorneys call “dramatic cracks,” despite not being mishandled. Many say they spent upward of $600 on repairs.

Class-action lawsuit accuses App Store of overcharging 20 million customers


App Store
Apple allegedly overcharged customers by $2 billion.
Photo: Apple

Legal action taken against Apple in the United Kingdom could see the company have to repay close to 20 million customers for allegedly overcharging them.

A landmark class-action lawsuit argues that Apple’s 30% commission on App Store purchases bilked customers out of more than $2 billion over a number of years. The plaintiffs want Apple to repay the money it supposedly owes.

Apple says it doesn’t have Scott Forstall’s phone number


Scott Forstall 2
Scott Forstall left Apple in 2012 after the Apple Maps debacle.
Photo: Philosophy Talk

It wasn’t all that long ago that Scott Forstall, Apple’s former SVP of iOS software, was being talked about as a possible CEO successor to Steve Jobs. Then came the disastrous Apple Maps launch in 2012, and Forstall’s subsequent departure from the company.

Forstall has shown up a couple of times since then, but otherwise maintained a low profile. Now, as unearthed by the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit, the Cupertino company says it doesn’t even have a current phone number for Forstall — only a Twitter account and P.O. Box reference.

Batterygate strikes again: Consumer group sues Apple over planned obsolescence


iPhone camera
Batterygate issue has been raging for a few years now.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Italian consumer association Altroconsumo launched a massive class-action lawsuit against Apple on Monday, seeking 60 million euros ($73 million) for the alleged planned obsolescence of iPhones.

Specifically, the suit mentions the iPhone 6 and 6s generation of devices. Apple used a software update to slow down these phones’ performance, resulting in the “Batterygate” controversy.

“Planned obsolescence is a deliberate unfair practice to consumers that causes frustration and financial harm,” Els Bruggerman, head of policy and enforcement for consumer right’s group Euroconsumers, told Cult of Mac. (Altroconsumo is a part of Euroconsumers.) “In November 2020, Apple ​announced that it will pay $113 million to settle allegations that it slowed down iPhones to mask battery issues. That settlement clearly demonstrates that Apple resorted to planned obsolescence as a deliberate attempt to increase renewal of phone, hide issues and deceive consumers.”

Apple says it slowed down the iPhones to preserve battery life and avoid crashes of older devices. Between 2014 and 2020, Apple sold approximately 1 million of iPhone 6 and 6s models in Italy alone.

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


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.

Apple settles multistate ‘Batterygate’ investigation for $113 million


iPhone batteries
Batterygate is long over, but Apple is still dealing with the repercussions of a severe lapse in judgement.
Photo: iFixIt

Apple came to a settlement with a group of U.S. state attorneys general over 2017’s “Batterygate.” The iPhone-maker will pay $113 million spread around 30 states to end the investigation.

This comes closer to ending Apple’s problems resulting from not telling customers it was throttling the performance of older iPhones to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down.