Tech giant Apple is facing a massive legal battle in the UK, with a lawsuit seeking up to $2 billion in damages for allegedly concealing issues with iPhone batteries. The claim, brought by consumer advocate Justin Gutmann on behalf of around 24 million iPhone users, accuses Apple of “throttling” older iPhone models through software updates to hide defects and battery issues.
According to a Nov. 1 Reuters report, the lawsuit centers around a power management tool released by Apple in 2016, which was later revealed to slow down performance on older iPhones deliberately. While Apple claimed this was done to prevent unexpected device shutdowns due to aging batteries, critics accused the company of intentionally throttling phones to push users to upgrade to newer models.
Deceptive business practices concealing the battery issues
Gutmann argues that by concealing the battery issues and rolling out the performance-limiting update without consent from users, Apple engaged in deceptive business practices and violated consumer rights. His lawsuit seeks compensation for UK iPhone owners based on the difference between what consumers paid for their iPhones and what they would have paid had Apple been more transparent about the battery issues.
Apple vigorously denies the allegations, stating that the battery problems only affected a small number of iPhone 6 models. However, the Competition Appeal Tribunal rejected Apple’s bid to dismiss the case, allowing the lawsuit to proceed. While some clarification is still needed on the claim details, the ruling represents a significant step forward in holding Apple accountable.
The case adds to a growing list of consumer group lawsuits against Big Tech companies in the UK and worldwide. With an estimated 24 million iPhone users covered under the claim, Apple could face a monumental payout if the case succeeds. The lawsuit’s midpoint estimate stands at £853 million in damages — over $1 billion.
Gutmann has hailed the tribunal’s ruling as a breakthrough in the fight for consumer justice. Apple, however, maintains that it would never intentionally shorten the lifespan of its products. As the legal battle gears up, all eyes will be on whether Apple can defend itself against accusations of misleading iPhone users over battery problems.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Veeterzy; Pexels; Thank you!