Apple hit with another European class action over throttled iPhones


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A third class action lawsuit has been filed in Europe against Apple seeking compensation — for what Italy’s Altroconsumo consumer protection agency dubs “planned obsolescence” of a number of iPhone 6 models.

The action relates to performance throttling Apple applied several years ago to affected iPhones when the health of the device’s battery had deteriorated — doing so without clearly informing users. It later apologized.

The class action suit in Italy is seeking €60M in compensation — based on at least €60 in average compensation per iPhone owner. Affected devices named in the suit are the iPhone 6, 6S, 6 Plus and 6S Plus, per a press release put out by the umbrella consumer organization, Euroconsumers, which counts Altroconsumo a a member.

The suit is the third to be filed in the region over the issue — following suits filed in Belgium and Spain last month.

A fourth — in Portugal — is slated to be filed shortly.

The tech giant settled similar charges in the US last year — where it was accused of intentionally slowing down the performance of older iPhones to encourage customers to buy newer models or fresh batteries — shelling out $500M, or around $25 per phone, to settle that case (while denying any wrongdoing).

“When consumers buy Apple iPhones, they expect sustainable quality products. Unfortunately, that is not what happened with the iPhone 6 series. 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,” said Els Bruggeman, Euroconsumers’ head of policy and enforcement, in a statement.

“This new lawsuit is the latest front in our fight against planned obsolescence in Europe. Our ask is simple: American consumers received compensation, European consumers want to be treated with the same fairness and respect.”

Euroconsumers has produced a video (embedded below) to drum up wider support for the class actions in which it satirizes Apple’s “genius” in coming up with clever ways to accelerate its products’ end of life…

Apple has been contacted for comment on the European class actions.

Almost a year ago the company was fined €25M by France’s competition watchdog over an iOS update that capped performance of aging devices. It was also made to display a statement regarding the action on its website for a month.


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