Tech giant Apple is facing a massive legal battle in the United Kingdom, with a lawsuit seeking up to $2 billion in damages for allegedly covering up problems with iPhone batteries. The complaint, filed by consumer advocate Justin Gutmann on behalf of approximately 24 million people iPhone usersaccuses Apple of “throttling” older iPhone models through software updates to hide flaws and battery issues.
According to a Reuters on November 1 report, the lawsuit focuses on a power management tool released by Apple in 2016 that was later found to deliberately slow down the performance of older iPhones. While Apple claimed this was done to prevent unexpected device shutdowns due to aging batteries, critics accused the company of intentionally throttling the phones to push users to upgrade to newer models.
Deceptive marketing practices concealing battery issues
Gutmann claims that by covering up the battery issues and rolling out the performance-limiting update without users’ consent, Apple engaged in deceptive business practices and violated consumers’ rights. His lawsuit seeks compensation for iPhone owners in the UK, based on the difference between what consumers paid for their iPhone and what they would have paid if Apple had been more transparent about the issues battery.
Apple vigorously denies these allegations, saying the battery issues only affected a small number of iPhone 6 models. However, the Competition Appeal Tribunal rejected Apple’s request to dismiss the case, thus allowing the trial to continue. Although clarification is still needed on the details of the claim, the ruling represents a significant step forward in holding Apple accountable.
This case adds to a growing list of lawsuits filed by consumer groups against Big tech companies in the UK and around the world. With approximately 24 million iPhone users covered by the claim, Apple could face monumental compensation if the case is successful. The lawsuit’s median estimate is £853 million in damages, or more than $1 billion.
Gutmann hailed the court’s decision as a breakthrough in the fight for consumer justice. Apple maintains, however, that it would never intentionally reduce the lifespan of its products. As the legal battle brews, all eyes will be on whether Apple can defend itself against accusations of misleading iPhone users about battery issues.
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