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Apple can’t block iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit, London court rules

In a recent ruling, a London court has determined that Apple cannot block a lawsuit accusing the company of using defective batteries in certain iPhone models. The UK class action lawsuit, filed by Justin Gutmann, claims that Apple knowingly installed faulty batteries that couldn’t keep up with the device’s processor or operating system. These allegations are supported by the inclusion of a power management tool in automatic software updates, which reportedly slowed down the processors. Apple has denied these claims, stating that they have never intentionally degraded the user experience to drive customer upgrades. This ruling comes after Apple agreed to pay $500 million to settle similar claims in the US.

Apple can’t block iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit, London court rules

Apple can’t block iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit, London court rules

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Overview

In a recent ruling, London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal has denied Apple’s request to block a class action lawsuit in the UK. The lawsuit accuses Apple of knowingly using defective batteries in certain iPhone models, specifically the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus. The claimant, Justin Gutmann, alleges that these batteries were unable to keep up with the device’s processor or operating system. In addition, Gutmann asserts that Apple hid this issue from consumers while pushing automatic software updates that included a power management tool that slowed down the processors, a practice known as “throttling.”

Background of the Lawsuit

The lawsuit was initially filed by Justin Gutmann, a UK resident, who claims that Apple used defective batteries in their iPhones that were unable to handle the demands of the device’s processor and operating system. Gutmann alleges that Apple concealed this issue from consumers while at the same time releasing software updates that intentionally slowed down the performance of the affected iPhones.

Apple can’t block iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit, London court rules

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Apple’s Request to Block the Lawsuit

In an attempt to prevent the class action lawsuit from moving forward, Apple sought to have it blocked. The company argued that the accusations were baseless and denied that there were any issues with their batteries, aside from certain iPhone 6S models. Apple emphasized its commitment to creating products that customers love and stated that prolonging the lifespan of iPhones is a significant goal for them.

Accusations against Apple

Gutmann’s lawsuit accuses Apple of knowingly using defective batteries in their iPhones, resulting in performance issues. According to the claim, Apple failed to disclose this information to consumers while continuing to release software updates that further exacerbated the problem. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that Apple intentionally slowed down the affected iPhones’ processors through the use of a power management tool, leading to a degradation of the user experience.

Apple can’t block iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit, London court rules

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Apple’s Defense

In response to the lawsuit, Apple denies any intentional shortening of the life of their products or efforts to degrade the user experience for the purpose of driving customer upgrades. The company argues that their primary objective is to create products that customers love, and they view extending the lifespan of iPhones as a vital aspect of this goal. Apple maintains that any performance issues experienced by users were unrelated to the batteries but rather resulted from other factors.

Previous Settlement in the US

Apple has already faced legal consequences in the United States regarding similar allegations. In a settlement reached with affected iPhone users in the US, Apple agreed to pay $500 million. These payments began in August, compensating users with affected iPhone 6, 7, and iPhone SE models. The settlement is an acknowledgment by Apple that there were performance issues with these devices and that some compensation is warranted.

Apple can’t block iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit, London court rules

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London Court Denies Apple’s Request

The recent ruling by London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal has dealt a blow to Apple’s attempts to block the class action lawsuit in the UK. The court has rejected Apple’s arguments and allowed the lawsuit to proceed, indicating that there is sufficient merit to the claims made against the company. This decision opens the door for affected UK iPhone users to seek compensation for the alleged performance issues caused by the defective batteries and throttling practices.

Implications of the Ruling

The ruling has significant implications for Apple as it sets a precedent for similar lawsuits around the world. If successful, the class action lawsuit in the UK could inspire similar legal action in other countries, potentially leading to further financial repercussions and damage to Apple’s reputation. Additionally, the ruling highlights the importance of transparency in the tech industry, emphasizing the need for companies to be forthcoming about any known issues with their products.

Apple can’t block iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit, London court rules

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Reaction from Apple Spokesperson

Apple spokesperson Tom Parker responded to the ruling, reiterating the company’s stance on the matter. Parker emphasized that Apple has never intentionally shortened the life of any of its products or compromised the user experience to drive customer upgrades. He also reiterated the company’s commitment to creating products that customers love and highlighted the importance of extending the lifespan of iPhones.

Conclusion

The denial of Apple’s request to block the iPhone ‘throttling’ lawsuit in London is a significant development in the ongoing legal battle surrounding the alleged use of defective batteries and throttling practices. The ruling allows the class action lawsuit to proceed, potentially opening the door for impacted iPhone users to seek compensation for the alleged performance issues they experienced. This case serves as a reminder to tech companies of the importance of transparency and accountability, highlighting the potential consequences of failing to address known product issues.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/1/23941813/apple-iphone-battery-throttling-lawsuit-london-court