European consumer group demands compensation from Apple over iPhone slowdown scandal

iPhone Battery
iPhone Battery (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A group of consumer associations in Europe is demanding compensation from Apple.
  • It wants Apple to pay 60 euros per customer.
  • It's over the batterygate scandal, which saw Apple accused of slowing down older iPhones.

A European consumer group is demanding Apple pay its customers 60 euros each as compensation over the Apple batterygate controversy.

As reported by iCulture:

A group of five European consumer organizations wants Apple to pay an amount of 60 euros per person to iPhone users. This has to do with an update from 2017. The Dutch consumer association is not participating.

The group, aptly named 'Euroconsumers' represents Spain, Portugal, Italy and strangely enough, Brazil. All four are demanding that Apple pay its customer 60 euros each over what it says is planned obsolescence in its devices. The claims relate back to the famous batterygate scandal in 2017. Apple was rocked by iPhone slowdown claims after it emerged that Apple was optimizing the performance of certain iOS features in older devices to prevent them from becoming unstable and shutting down without warning.

Apple received plenty of public backlash against the practice, even though it was clearly beneficial to older devices and the user experience as a whole. Apple has paid fines in several countries including France, where it was ordered to pay 25 million euros in fines.

Apple has also been slapped with punishments in Italy, and also agreed to pay $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in California back in March.

On the practice, Apple states:

Your iPhone is designed to deliver an experience that is simple and easy to use. This is only possible through a combination of advanced technologies and sophisticated engineering. One important technology area is battery and performance. Batteries are a complex technology, and a number of variables contribute to battery performance and related iPhone performance. All rechargeable batteries are consumables and have a limited lifespan – eventually their capacity and performance decline so that they need to be replaced. Battery aging can contribute to changes in iPhone performance. We created this information for those who would like to learn more.

It has since let users switch off the feature in later iterations of iOS.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • The European Union is getting no better than a Patent Troll. Just sue everyone with lots of money.
  • It's a consumer group, it protects the consumer. You Americans are happy with companies taking advantage of you
  • Get over it. Not only was the function designed with user benefit in mind, everyone who had the issue has been provided an update that allows it to be disabled. Beyond that Apple had a year long, beyond warranty battery replacement program that provided new battery replacement at nearly cost to anyone who want to take advantage of it. Come to think of it, I think I'm going sue because Apple deprecated the Apple II line and didn't provide me compensation because I had to switch to a Mac.
  • This compensation has come late, it's about when Apple didn't provide an option to disable it, plus they hid it from the consumer at first.
  • Hiding it and not feeling it necessary to highlight every engineering decision are two different things. I'm sure there are lots of things that could be implemented more than one way. Putting a switch in for every one so the user can choose would be ridiculous and likely have numerous side effects. The options here were run a little slower, or hard shutdown in the middle of the day. The engineers made the choice they felt most would appreciate, the one that would favor squeaking some more life out of the device. People always had the option of taking their out of warranty phone to the Apple store, having it checked and being told the battery was marginal. People didn't do that because it wasn't that terrible, or they did and didn't want to spend the money on a replacement. To come back 3 years later and gripe about it is just money grubbing.
  • Apple knew that there was a big worry about planned obsolescence, so it's common sense that it's a bad idea to slow down people's phones without telling them why you're doing it. Obviously we know now that it was for a good reason, but at the time I could understand why people were annoyed.