After Apple admitted to slowing down iPhone CPUs earlier this month, as many as eight class action lawsuits claiming that the company has robbed plaintiffs of the functionality and value of their devices have been filed. However, according to a report by Patently Apple, one is seeking a payout a bit larger than the rest — $999 billion, to be exact.
The lawsuit, filed by Violetta Mailyan in the Central District of California, alleges the following:
Each member of the Class had to buy a newer iPhone model because the performance of their older iPhone model had slowed down as a result of Defendant's purposeful conduct. Each member of Class was denied the use, utility and value of the older iPhone model because of the slowdown of performance.
The filed complaint goes on to say that the iPhone slowdowns are unlawful due to the fact that Apple intentionally deceived users, failing to disclose both the fact that the slowdowns were happening at all and that slowed performance could be remedied more cheaply by purchasing a new battery (rather than splurging on a a whole new phone). What's more, there was no way that users could discover this information with any real certainty on their own.
If Defendant disclosed that it would purposefully slow down the performance of older iPhone models Plaintiff and Class would not buy these iPhone models. Further, if Defendant disclosed that the slow performance of older iPhone models could be remedied by purchasing a new battery, Plaintiff and similarly situated Class members would buy a new battery instead of buying a newer iPhone model.
Apple copped to slowing down older iPhone models with worn-out lithium-ion batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns in a statement to TechCrunch, after Reddit user TeckFire noticed that their iPhone was running noticeably faster post-battery replacement.
Though the consensus among iPhone owners is obviously that Apple should have been clear about the intentional slowdowns (and perhaps should have offered users the option to choose performance over battery life), $999 billion seems like a payout of cartoonish proportions for any lawsuit, let alone one regarding smartphone function.
Do you feel that asking Apple for $999 billion is ridiculous, or do you feel the price fits the offense? Share your opinion with us in the comments.
Updated December 26, 2017: This article has been updated to include a link to the court document obtained by Patently Apple revealing the $999 billion lawsuit.
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