The Apple iPhone became an instant sensation since being first introduced on January 9, 2007. Since its inception, more than 500 million iPhones have been sold and there have been lawsuits involving them almost from the start.
The first lawsuit to involve the iPhone was filed only nine months after it was unveiled and concerned Apple’s decision to give AT&T an exclusive agreement to be the only cellular phone provider to sell the product. The plaintiffs at the time argued that the exclusive sales agreement was a violation of antitrust laws.
Through the years Apple has been the target of a number of class action lawsuits involving the iPhone on such issues as storage, software, hardware, and more.
Recently, Apple has angered users of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, 6S, 6s Plus, SE, 7 and 7 Plus for software upgrades that deliberately slow the phones down so that batteries would last longer.
Apple’s first response to the uproar was to offer replacement batteries at a discounted price of $50 compared to the usual cost of $79.
According to Apple, when a customer brings an iPhone into an Apple store complaining of slowness, an employee would commonly perform a diagnostic test on the phone. If the battery was operating at less than 80% of its original capacity and the phone was under warranty or covered by AppleCare+, the battery would be replaced for free.
iPhone Lawsuits Continue to Increase
Despite the company’s offer to consumers to sell batteries at a discounted replacement price of $29 at least 12 class action lawsuits have been filed in the United States and International markets.
Los Angeles, California residents filed three of the suits. One charged that Apple committed fraud as well as unfair business practices. Another accused the company of breach of an implied contract arguing that when people buy the phone they rightfully assume that Apple will not “purposefully interfere with the phones’ usage or value.” The lawsuit also argues that Apple should have gotten permission from iPhone owners for interfering with the speed of the phone. The third plaintiff asserts a number of offenses including fraud, false advertising, and unjust enrichment.
An Illinois lawsuit alleges that Apple had “sinister” motives when it offered the software upgrade, but the filing did not offer any evidence for the claim.
A $125 million lawsuit was filed in Israel against Apple asserting that the company breached its duty toward customers by failing to disclose the software update would slow down the performance of the older phones. The suit also claims that Apple had “a clear interest in hiding the information from users because it would prefer they replace old iPhones with new ones.”
The lawsuits were filed on the wake of Apple’s confirmation that it indeed slowed down the software of the iPhones in question so that batteries would last longer. Apple claimed that the software update was meant as a fix to deal with degraded lithium-ion batteries that could suddenly die.
One plaintiff of the Illinois lawsuit, but who lives in North Carolina, explained that he had contacted Apple and that no one in customer support suggested that he replace his battery to improve the phone’s performance. Frustrated at how slow his iPhone 7 was performing, the plaintiff replaced it with an iPhone 8.
The attorney for this plaintiff confirmed that other iPhone users who claim they have suffered the same problem have contacted him and that he is considering amending the suit to include a request that Apple provide battery replacements or give refunds to consumers who bought another device needlessly.
Attorneys representing members of the Los Angeles class action suit said that Apple should have alerted customers. Two plaintiffs in the Los Angeles suit said that they had bought Apple’s smartphones in parts because they were able to run applications quickly.
Another Plaintiff of the Los Angeles class action lawsuit asserted that Apple intentionally slowed down older model iPhones about the time a new iPhone was introduced. She added that if she had known that the iPhone slowdown could be avoided by simply replacing the battery or by refusing to download the software update, she would not have purchased a new iPhone.
The Eichholz Law Firm Can Help
If you own an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7 or 7 Plus and believe that it is performing slowly due to the software upgrade, call us to see if you qualify to be a member of a class action lawsuit against Apple. We are a Georgia law firm with class action lawsuit experience that knows how to protect you from such companies as Apple and can provide assistance in guiding you through the litigation process.