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Apple is being hit with another lawsuit alleging that the company “secretly” started throttling older iPhones back in 2017.
A group of 18 individuals has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple in a Northern California federal court this week. The class refers to the so-called Batterygate scandal as “one of the largest consumer frauds in history.”
“While Plaintiffs and the class need not attribute any motive behind Apple’s intentional degradation of the Devices, it is evident that Apple continued to do so for the simple reason most frauds are committed: money,” the lawsuit claims.
The complaint, similar to others like it, draws upon the idea of planned obsolescence. That’s the idea that companies, like Apple, intentionally slow down devices to make users buy new devices.
Apple, for its part, denies any wrongdoing. In a statement, the company wrote that it has never and would never “do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”
The iPhone throttling mechanism introduced in iOS 10.2.1 is a measure meant to prevent unexpected shutdowns when an iPhone’s battery is degraded. It’s not making iPhones slower just for the sake of making them slower. As a lithium-ion battery degrades, unexpected shutdowns become more common and unavoidable.
Of course, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Apple should have been more transparent about the feature and its usage.
Still, Apple faces more than 60 class action lawsuits of a similar nature across the globe. The latest one spotted today will likely be consolidated with others in the Northern California district court system.
It’s worth noting that the iPhone throttling mechanism is actually disabled by default on all devices, even older ones. It only gets enabled when an unexpected shutdown occurs — and even then, users have the ability to disable it in Settings > Battery.
Also, users can completely mitigate both performance throttling and unexpected shutdowns by simply replacing the battery in their iPhones.
Similarly, even with performance throttling, iPhones have incredible staying power when it comes to speed. Past reports indicate that Apple’s handsets have a massive one-year performance advantage over similar Android flagships.
(If you need evidence of that, just consider the fact that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 10+ is still slower than the iPhone XS Max from last year.)
The full text of the class action lawsuit can be seen at this link.