The $750 billion Apple company now facing eight lawsuits. Seven seek class-action to represent iPhone owners in the US. One was filed on Monday in an Israeli court, the Israel Haaretz reported.
Apple last week admitted for the first time that operating system updates released since last year for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature to smooth out power supply from batteries that are cold, old or low on charge. Phones without the adjustment would shut down abruptly because of a precaution designed to prevent components from getting fried, Apple said.
According to Chicago Sun-Times, a lawsuit was filed in Illinois on behalf of five iPhone owners, alleging this “needlessly subjects consumers to purchasing newer and more expensive iPhones when a replacement battery could have allowed consumers to continue to use their older iPhones.”
Attorney James Vlahakis added: “Corporations have to realize that people are sophisticated and that when people spend their hard-earned dollars on a product they expect it to perform as expected. Instead, Apple appears to have obscured and concealed why older phones were slowing down.”
Two law students at the University of Southern California have also filed suit. The lawsuit states, saying much the same. They are hoping to represent anyone who bought a phone older than the iPhone 8 in their suit.
according to Reuters, one of the lawsuits, filed Thursday in San Francisco, said that “the batteries’ inability to handle the demand created by processor speeds” without the software patch was a defect.
“Rather than curing the battery defect by providing a free battery replacement for all affected iPhones, Apple sought to mask the battery defect,” according to the complaint.
The problem now seen is that users over the last year could have blamed an aging computer processor for app crashes and sluggish performance – and chose to buy a new phone – when the true cause may have been a weak battery that could have been replaced for a fraction of the cost, some of the lawsuits state.
Attorney Jeffrey Fazio, who is representing the plaintiff in this case, is also represented plaintiffs in a $53-million settlement with Apple in 2013 over its handling of iPhone warranty claims.
“If it turns out that consumers would have replaced their battery instead of buying new iPhones had they known the true nature of Apple’s upgrades, you might start to have a better case for some sort of misrepresentation or fraud,” said Rory Van Loo, a Boston University professor specializing in consumer technology law.
Reuters reports that the lawsuits seek unspecified damages in addition to, in some cases, reimbursement. A couple of the complaints seek court orders barring Apple from throttling iPhone computer speeds or requiring notification in future instances.