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A new lawsuit has been filed recently against Apple by a consumer advocacy group in Europe. They said Apple intentionally throttled older iPhones in Italy. According to reports by TechCrunch the lawsuit is to seek €60 million (roughly $73 million) in compensation from Apple. Which is about €60 per device — for owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus models. This lawsuit covers only devices sold in Italy between 2014 and 2020. Euroconsumers advocacy says the €60 compensation is the average amount spent by consumers to replace their devices batteries.
In a statement by Els Bruggeman, head of policy and enforcement at Euroconsumers, he said “When consumers buy Apple iPhones, they expect sustainable quality products. Unfortunately, that is not what happened with the iPhone 6 series”. He also said that “Not only were consumers defrauded, and did they have to face frustration and financial harm, from an environmental point of view it is also utterly irresponsible.”
Two similar lawsuits were filed by Euroconsumers in December. These were filed on behalf of member orgs Test-Achats in Belgium and OCU in Spain. In a press release, the group said it plans a fourth lawsuit in Portugal.
In an email sent to TheVerge, a spokesperson for Apple said, “We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.” He further said that “Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”
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US Apple Lawsuit Last Year
March last year, Apple agreed to a $500 million settlement in the US after it admitted slowing down older iPhones. Consumers who bought an iPhone 6 or 7 which were throttled to preserve battery life were compensated. The case grew out of the tech giant’s “Batterygate” controversy, when iPhone users discovered in 2017 that iOS limited processor speeds as iPhone batteries aged. Apple didn’t reveal to consumers that the feature — meant to address problems with phones’ performance — existed. Users said if they had known about the slowdown feature, they would have simply replaced the battery rather than buying an all-new phone, as many did.
The company agreed to a second settlement in November — this time, with 34 US states —for an additional $113 million. The state attorneys general said Apple “fully understood” that by concealing the intentional to slowing down of older phones, the company could profit from people buying new phones rather than replacing the batteries. Apple did not admit to any of the allegations in that settlement.