Apple Faces 30 Class Action Lawsuits + Investigations In US & France Over iPhone Throttling

Apple’s deliberate iPhone throttling has now attracted the attention lawmakers in multiple countries.

Does Apple deliberately slow down older iPhones in an attempt to force users to upgrade?  That’s the question federal courts will have to decide.

Last month, iPhone users in California and in the Midwest filed multiple lawsuits against the consumer tech giant.  The class-action lawsuits filed alleged that Apple purposefully engaged in “deceptive, immoral, and unethical practices.”  The Cupertino-based company allegedly designed its flagship smartphone to wear out after a while without informing consumers.  The class-action lawsuits cover every person in the US who has owned an iPhone older than the latest 8, 8 Plus, X models.

Six days later, the total number class-action lawsuits jumped to 8.  In addition, two iPhone owners sued the company in Israel.  They argued that the company had “breached its duty toward consumers by concealing information.”

In an attempt to defuse the growing controversy, Apple slashed the price replacement batteries.  The out–warranty batter service fee is now $29, down from $79.  The move has yet to convince consumers, however.  According to a new report, the number lawsuits Apple has skyrocketed.

When 8 class-action lawsuits just aren’t enough.

According to Patently Apple, the Cupertino-based company now faces 30 class-action lawsuits.  12 lawsuits were filed in Northern California alone in the past three weeks.

The cases cite the following five separate causes action.

Each class-action lawsuit cites Apple’s “deliberate interference with property without consent.”  9to5Mac writes that the company may “point out that every iOS update is installed with user consent.”  As users must tap the Agree button to use the iPhone, the company may not be found liable.

Lawmakers get involved.

The consumer tech giant doesn’t only face scrutiny in a court law.

Apple now faces investigations in both France and the US.

In the US, Senator John Thune (R-SD), chairman the Senate Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Tim Cook.  According to the Wall Street Journal, he asked the company “for answers on a series questions” related to the company’s decision to throttle processing performance on older phones.  Thune also noted that many consumers have blasted the company for charging for battery replacements.

The BBC writes that in France, companies cannot “intentionally shorten lifespan a product.”  Paris’ prosecutor’s fice has launched a formal investigation into the Cupertino-based company’s practices.  Prosecutors believe that the company may have engaged in “deception and programmed obsolescence.”  Penalties could include a jail term or up to 5% the company’s annual turnover.

Exploding iPhones

Apple doesn’t only face a judicial and political nightmare.  It now has to deal with exploding iPhones.

On Tuesday, authorities evacuated an Apple Store in Zurich, Switzerland evacuated.  An iPhone battery had reportedly overheated and exploded.

According to local police, a repair worker had burned his hand while removing the iPhone’s battery. 50 employees and consumers were forced to leave the store.  Zurich City Police reportedly said that the smartphone “suddenly exploded for an unknown reason.”

In a statement, the Zurich City Police said,

Police added that seven others had also been injured but weren’t hospitalized.

Earlier this week, an iPhone 7 reportedly exploded, burning a teenager’s stomach.  Orlando-area teen Tina Pierre filed a complaint against Apple after showing an iPhone-related scar.  Speaking on her conversation with the company’s customer support team, she told News 6,

Apple’s response.

In a statement following what some have dubbed as #ThrottleGate, the company issued a formal apology.


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