If you are like many smartphone users in America, you might own an iPhone. Whether your phone is an older model or you are the proud owner of a new iPhone X, you paid enough money to expect your device to run like a well-tuned sports car for years. However, recent lawsuits against the company filed in California, other states and overseas are claiming the opposite.
The Washington Post reported on the claims, which center around the Apple company not being forthcoming about slowing down iPhones that have older batteries. Several details that might interest you include the following:
- Claimants say Apple was secretive in degrading the performance of older phones so consumers would purchase newer, more expensive phones instead of replacing the batteries in their current phones.
- Lawsuits from iPhone owners in California total to almost $1 trillion in damages.
- A lawsuit from a consumer rights group in France accuses Apple of deliberately degrading older models with the purpose of selling new ones – a crime punishable by prison time in France.
Officials from the Apple company issued an apology for not letting customers know that they deliberately slowed down older phones. However, they refuted the accusations that they did this to spur consumers into buying new phones. An older battery in your phone may shut down without notice, they say, unless you reduce your phone’s performance.
If you knew that the Apple company was slowing down your phone as it aged because otherwise your phone might stop working one day, would you buy a new phone or send yours to a repair shop to have a new battery put in? In most cases, the latter choice would be the most cost-effective. However, many consumers are perfectly happy with trading in their older iPhones for a newer model since newer versions tend to have more options and new features. Whether this is what Apple executives assumed or if their purpose was indeed to discourage repairing an older phone in favor of buying a new one is not yet clear. It would seem that the main point of these lawsuits is that consumers deserve access to the full information about the products they spend good money on.