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Apple is now faced with upwards of 23 lawsuits for slowing down iPhones

Last month, many iPhone users felt betrayed after Apple copped to slowing down older iPhone models with worn-out lithium-ion batteries in a statement to TechCrunch. Though the company claims this was done to prevent unexpected shutdowns and prolong battery life, the general consensus is that Apple should have been more transparent about its practices — especially because slow processing speed causes many individuals to spend a substantial amount of money on a new phone when the issue could be improved by just purchasing a new battery.

Now, according to a piece written by Joe Rossignol for MacRumors, Apple is facing more than two dozen lawsuits worldwide that accuse the company of either slowing down iPhones on purpose or failing to disclose vital information regarding updates. 23 lawsuits have been filed in the United States alone, and that number is continually growing — the last two complaints were filed as recently as Thursday. One of those complaints, filed by Lauri Sullivan-Stefanou of Ohio and obtained by MacRumors, states the following:

Unbeknownst to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s owners, Apple inserted code into iOS 10.2.1 that deliberately slowed down the processing performance of these phones by linking each phone's processing performance with its battery health. Absent the code inserted by Apple, the reduced battery capacity of these phones would not have negatively affected processing performance.

According to Rossingol, the lawsuits are demanding everything from compensation for all iPhone users who have experienced slowdowns to free battery replacements to adding info to iOS that explicitly says how replacing an iPhone's battery can prevent slowdowns. One individual is even suing Apple for a whopping $999 billion. There has been no news yet regarding the outcomes of these cases. However, Apple has issued an official apology (opens in new tab) and is now offering $29 battery replacements for iPhone 6 and newer.

For more information about #iPhoneSlow, you can check out what the experts have to say here.

Questions?

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Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.

12 Comments
  • First world problems. Get over yourselves. Apple owes you - at most - a free battery and a future notice when/if your battery is dying, to give you a choice of doing nothing or slowing down.
  • The main thing is just knowing that your device is slowing down due to battery age, and giving the user the choice between having full performance, or a better battery life. According to Apple:
    "Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance." So it looks like we'll get a lot more visibility soon
  • Good. They should be sued. They're messing around with people's phones without telling them.
  • Keep em coming. Nope, I don't expect these lawsuits to gain anything for the customer (maybe a $25 coupon towards your next purchase, tops) but let's hope it annoys Apple enough for them to sort out future iPhones so that this isn't even a discussion ever again. Not holding my breath though.
  • I would be happy if it forces Apple to get over their weird obsession with thinness. Make iPhones a few mm thicker and put in a bigger GD battery. Problem solved.
  • They need to stop trying to be a fashion company, first and foremost.
  • That will never happen, Apple has almost always been about design and aesthetics
  • They have what it takes to do both.
  • The best thing you can hope for, is some advancement in battery tech or "true" wireless charging where the phone doesn't have to touch the wireless charger and just be within a certain distance of it. Other than that, we're staying as we are
  • It's a good thing nobody spilled hot coffee onto their lap...
  • Sorry I left this in a related post as well but it has to do with the suit: Why Apple should be sued for “early obsolescence” of iPhones - scaling back performance to accommodate degrading batteries. Apple has been known, at least in recent times for being “the good” guys. After a fairy tale beginning, they lost a huge copyright battle with Microsoft yet ended up needing to receive funding from their old foe. They lost their visionary leader Steve Jobs and fumbled for years on the edge of failure. But in 1998, Jobs finally returned and ushered in a new era with incredible products: OSX, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iTunes music and the IOS App Store. They were saluted when they stood up for LGBT rights. Cheered for standing toe to toe with the FBI on user privacy. They demonstrated that, while there products were premium priced, their value and incredible design warranted the price. And their record making profits were overlooked as they continued to develop and market
    “ground breaking”, “live changing” products. While continuing to change the world. And lets not forget the “spaceship” headquarters. But then again, who wanted to upgrade the iPhone 7 anyway. Yawn. But, while we were mesmerized by the white, silver and occasionally rose and gold colored product revisions, things began to change. Or rather stagnate. Product lines stumbled. Advances in models slowed or halted altogether. As I write this two of Apples 4 main computer product lines have not seen new models in over 4 years. And their flagship MacBook “Pro” line is seen as a giant leap backward. With the shallow “chicklet” keyboard, lack of connection ports, reliance on expensive dongles, the inability to upgrade memory or storage - it is no longer considered “professional” at all. Pundents and professionals are recommending the last “Pro” MacBook (still being sold) that was introduced over two years ago. Apples marketing machine continues to shine as it promotes its latest iPhone model as a revolution. And while it is breaking records for sales and receiving shining reviews, much of the “advances” actually respond to pressure from other companies like Google. Wireless charging, edge-to-edge displays, OLED displays, no headphone jack, AR are all features that have been introduced previously (in some cases, years previously) by Samsung, Google, HTC and others. But just like in the past Apple just does those better. But with all this attention to detail, Apple forgot about something fundamental to the iPhone. Unlike Samsung, they had not been reminded how much attention should be paid to this area of their phone technology called “the battery”. It’s deceitful that even with the additional purchase of an AppleCare + warranty to extend the warranty to 2 years, Apple would surreptitiously throttle an iPhone processor back in performance due to receding battery performance - but not agree or suggest or cover battery replacement when its enough of an issue that a software mod is released. Instead, they nobley suggest that they were preserving operations stability in light of a weakening battery. Deceit and lies. Volkswagon did something very similar and paid for a complete product replacement - not a discount on a fix. Apple are “good guys” who love their customers and know what their customers need better than they do. And because of this, they are going to reduce the cost of a new battery and “allow” users to purchase a discounted replacement -- (oh my gosh!) even if there isn’t a “problem”. Because remember, this isn’t a problem, or a flaw, or a premature failure, its a design issue. One that required a creative design solution to mask the issue and lessen satisfaction with our current models by reducing performance and thereby encouraging people to upgrade to the new super model - iPhone X. What a bunch of bunk. I hope folks don’t continue to swallow this line from Apple. Don’t be fooled. This isn’t the beginning a huge downturn for Apple -- That started 2-3 years ago. They simply have so much momentum that they mistake their increasing “resting” position as incline. Decline follows the resting state in any organization. Decline will be marked by reorganization and restructuring. New leadership. Or complete failure. Just because your making tons of money doesn’t mean your a leader or have a future. Just ask Steve Ballmer from Microsoft.
  • It's a difficult situation if you want to keep the phone thin, which Apple do. Battery technology hasn't really changed in a long time, so the only way phone developers have generally made them last longer is by making the phones bigger, which Apple did as well. But all phone developers have the issue of degrading batteries, and I've seen Android phones turn off before hitting 0%, so as much as I dislike the way Apple has done this as much as the next person, I don't really know what alternatives Apple has. I guess I would like the option between losing performance, and losing battery life, rather than Apple deciding for me. Also your last bit is essentially "Apple's doomed" which we're very far from, and I'm pretty sure Apple has enough money to pay people to figure out what the problem is, if they're on a continuous decline