Apple apologizes for the slowdown of iPhones scandal and lowers the price of battery change
The consumer defense group Euroconsumers has filed two class action lawsuits against Apple for about 180 million euros for the “planned obsolescence” of its iPhones . The lawsuits cover iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus owners and allege that Apple engaged in “unfair and deceptive business practices.” They claim compensation of at least 60 euros on average for each affected consumer in Belgium and Spain.
The lawsuits have been filed by the organizations associated with Euroconsumers OCU (in Spain) and Test-Achats (in Belgium). The group also plans to file additional class action lawsuits in Italy and Portugal in the coming weeks. “This dramatic step comes after European consumers tried to solve this problem with Apple out of court, without success,” they say from the organization.
The lawsuits in Europe come after the apple company agreed to seal an out-of-court settlement in the US for 500 million last March to end a class action lawsuit over the same matter . Apple said it agreed to the settlement to avoid lengthy litigation, although it insisted it had not committed a crime.
Euroconsumers contends that Apple tricked consumers into downloading software updates that deliberately slowed down their iPhones to induce them to buy new models. A fact that jumped to the media in 2017. The firm headed by Tim Cook did admit then that it was slowing down the operation of older iPhone models such as the 6 and 7 by updating the iOS operating system with the aim, according to the company, to compensate for the more limited capacity of your batteries and thus prevent devices from overcharging and shutting down.
Under the terms of the compromise reached in the US, which has yet to be approved by a judge, Apple will pay $ 25 to owners of iPhone 6 (which include 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus), 7 (which include 7, 7 Plus) and SEs running iOS 10.2.1 or later, as well as iPhone 7 and 7 Plus owners using iOS 11.2 or later before December 21, 2017.
Els Bruggeman, Director of Policy and Compliance at Euroconsumers, assures that “European consumers just want to be treated with the same respect as consumers in the US.” The demands of this group cover more than three million models of iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and iPhone SE sold in the four countries mentioned between 2014 and 2020.
From the European consumer defense group they also recall that last month Apple announced that it will pay 113 million dollars to resolve the accusations of a coalition of 33 US states (including California, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas and Indiana) and the District of Columbia to end the same indictment.
Euroconsumers explains that they sent a letter to Apple on July 2 asking it to end the planned obsolescence of iPhones and compensate European consumers. “Consumers are increasingly annoyed by products that wear out too quickly, and the iPhone 6 models are one such example. Not only does it cause frustration and financial damage, from an environmental point of view it is also absolutely irresponsible. Consumers want to be treated with respect, they demand fair compensation and sustainable phones, ”adds Bruggeman.
In a letter to Euroconsumers from its attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, dated Aug. 6, Apple said it would “never degrade” the user experience to drive customer updates and called the allegations “factually and legally wrong,” according to collects the Financial Times.
Apple was fined 25 million euros last February by France’s consumer watchdog for misleading consumers, and at the end of 2018, Italy’s competition authority fined the company 10 million euros, the maximum figure. allowed, after determining that Apple software updates caused “serious crashes and significantly reduced performance” of iPhones. It also fined Samsung € 5 million for similar claims.
“Euroconsumers is sending a clear message to Apple that planned obsolescence can no longer be accepted,” concludes Bruggeman.