What you need to know

  • A new class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple in a Northern California federal court.
  • The complaint accusses Apple of defrauding consumers with deceiving practices.
  • The complaint claims Apple's older iPhones were designed defectively.

Apple is being faced with a new class action lawsuit, via MacRumors, with the complaint accusing the company of throttling older iPhone models in an attempt to defraud consumers.

Filed in a Northern California federal court by 18 individuals, the complaint takes Apple to task "for fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions, and other unlawful business practices."

The complaint reads:

After years of customer frustration and attrition, on December 20, 2017, Apple admitted to one of the larger consumer frauds in history, affecting hundreds of millions of mobile devices across the globe. Prompting the admission were reports of unexplained shutdown of certain Devices surfacing more than two years earlier, with consumers complaining their Devices were suddenly shutting down even though the batteries were more than 30% charged.

The complaint goes on to say that when Apple released iOS 10.2.1 in 2017, it did so to conceal a defect, which it addressed by throttling performance of older iPhone models. Apple neglected to reveal this information to consumers at the time.

The Devices were designed defectively, and Apple released software updates to conceal the Defects, all the while exacerbating the effects of the Defects—principally decreased performance—so that Device users had no choice but to purchase new batteries or upgrade their Devices, resulting in additionally payments to Apple and a sustained (albeit forced) customer base.

By the end of 2017, Apple explained why it introduced software to throttle performance, saying it did so to prevent devices from unexpectedly shutting down. The company also said it would never "intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."

In addition to releasing a new software feature that allowed users to track their iPhone's battery health, Apple also reduced the price of battery replacements to $29 through the end of 2018.