As many as eight class action lawsuits have been leveled against Apple thus far after the company admitted to slowing down older iPhone models that have worn-out batteries, with the latest class action filing seeking an unbelievable $999 billion payout (not a typo).

Plaintiffs insist they had to buy a newer iPhone because the performance of their older model had slowed down as a result of Apple’s “purposeful conduct.” As a result, the filing argues, each of the plaintiffs was denied the use, utility and value of their older iPhone.

“The injuries of the plaintiff and Class are identical,” reads the filing. “Plaintiff’s claims for relief are based upon the same legal theories as the claims of other Class members.”

Apple on its website explains that iPhone batteries are designed to retain up to 80% of their original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles.

While the Cupertino firm admitted to slowing down the CPU when the battery is wearing out to prevent unexpected shutdowns and other problems, the lawsuit argues Apple never asked customers whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than normal.

“Plaintiffs and Class Members suffered interferences to their iPhone usage due to the intentional slowdowns caused by Defendant,” reads the filing.

TUTORIAL: 4 ways to check your iPhone battery health

This is a PR fight that I don’t think Apple can easily win.

As much as its PR department has tried to debunk the longstanding “planned obsolescence” narrative, convincing people that it has not been deliberately crippling older phones to push them into buying newer hardware is going to be an uphill battle.

Apple has only itself to blame.

Had it been more transparent and forthcoming about this right from the start, it could have easily avoided this PR nightmare. It’s baffling to me that all those years Apple has not communicated to customers in an unambiguous manner that a simple battery replacement may improve the performance of older phones with degraded batteries.

Also, is it so hard to put up a prompt in iOS to inform customers that device performance may suffer due to a worn-out battery? Apple’s handling of the situation should not surprise anyone.

After all, it similarly did not bother to communicate how the controversial Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles in iOS 11’s revamped Control Center behaved until people cried foul.

Only then did Apple add a popup disclaimer to iOS 11’s Control Center with a software update.

Thoughts?

iPhone 6s teardown photo courtesy of iFixit

  • Vinnie Bones

    Ok, how we consumers get some of that bread??

    • websyndicate

      you can mail in a form request and you will get a check in 5 years for 22.40 for the value of the phone that you lost.

      /s

      • vbtwo31984

        On a serious note, if the case ever does make its way forward to a win, you and everybody who had an iPhone between whatever dates the lawsuit will state will receive a notice in the mail (Apple does have your mailing address, correct) and you will then fill out a form, either online or by mail stating that you want to be considered part of the class and that you will not sue Apple individually. You will then eventually get a check in the mail. That’s how it always worked with a few different class lawsuits that I was in the class for.

        The check will probably be for not more than $22.40, while the lawyers will take the rest of the billions as fees for their hard work.

      • Where y’all getting this $22.40 from?

      • vbtwo31984

        We just pull a random number out of our ass, which is exactly where the amount you get back will be pulled from 🙂

      • Icebox766

        More likely, a voucher for 22.40 off your next purchase of a phone. Something most class members won’t use or remember to use.

      • Vinnie Bones

        hey, a new battery for a 6S is around $20.. not a bad deal

      • Darren

        I paid $10.45 on eBay for my new battery replacement for my 6 included tools and sticky adhesive.

    • Jamessmooth

      I love these comments. Your slice of bread will be so small you won’t notice it. The lawyers will get most of the loaf.

      • Kaptivator

        33 and a 3rd %, minimum.

  • Laszlo Gaspar

    There’s no way that sort of a demand in payout will fly in court. I could see a heavily reduced fine occurring but even that is unlikely.

    • Icebox766

      This won’t be decided by a judge. The case wil settle for a tiny fraction of the top number.

  • Siri Tim Cook Holness

    How can apple give more money than their market cap?

    • 9to5Slavery

      Rofl

  • triggerhappypunk

    Sign me up!

  • lol not going to happen. There’s always a cap if it even goes that far.. and it will won’t not be anywhere near a 1 billion.

  • nonchalont

    Yeah, apple never admitted to this purposeful “slow down.” They should have been transparent about it.

  • Rowan09

    I have a S7 as well and curious when the Android lawsuit will start. My S7 Edge is significantly slower than when I bought it and I still don’t have the latest OS. This lawsuit is stupid by the way.

    • Shadowelite123

      I just can’t understand how people honestly refuse to weigh in how terrible it is to have your phone shutoff at 40%. The iPhone has hit ridiculous speeds, how is a decrease in speed to prevent random and early shutdowns so bad. I understand the lack of notification, but who in their right mind can say that speed decreases are worse than random or early shutdowns when it comes to interferences in iPhone usage.

      • Rowan09

        I don’t understand. My sister in law has a 5s and father in law has a 5 and both of them work perfectly fine. I don’t see why the lawsuit especially when if changing the battery solves the issue. This shouldn’t even be a case. I guess when my 4 year old Desktop is moving slow I will have to sue Microsoft. Smh

    • I’m amazed at how many people are acting like this is something that only Apple is doing.

      Despite all the complaints from people back in the day over batteries that only lasted a few hours on old phones and the complaints over phones shutting of randomly at 20-40%, it seems that people now miss those days and would rather become wall huggers again instead of having an app take a few extra seconds to launch.

      • Rowan09

        It’s the love hate relationship with Apple. I remember when the Note 7 issue happened and the media especially took it so easy on Samsung. Can you imagine if it was Apple? I really don’t see why this is such a big deal. I agree Apple could have addressed it better, but it’s being blown way out of proportion.

  • techfreak23

    lol so many people think they’re going to get big payouts for being a part of these lawsuits. At most, you’ll get pennies if there is some kind of settlement. There is no way the plaintiffs will receive anywhere close to that amount, if they get anything at all. I think these lawsuits won’t win anything because I’m pretty sure there is something in the terms and conditions that everyone blindly agrees to that will partially cover their ass.

    I will say though that I am greatly disappointed at Apple for not being more transparent about it. The practice is sound and makes complete sense, but they had to have known that their “secret” would have come out eventually, seemingly confirming all of those planned obsolescence theories out there. Hopefully they learn from these last two mistakes (the control center toggles included) and are more upfront about these kind of changes in the future.

    • Shadowelite123

      Well there is the whole software usage agreement where you can’t use the device if you don’t agree to the terms of the software.

  • gqukyo

    You never, if ever, get what you wanted initially so you always put forth some absurd amount because the settlement will always be a much smaller percentage of the original amount though this amount does take it to a whole new level. I’d be surprised if they even get 500mil…

  • Chris Ryan

    may not result in a big win for the individual consumer, but how many times can apple afford to look this bad and payout money at all…eventually this type of practice could do serious damage to their overall business reputation

  • M_Hawke

    I agree with you. Christian, it’s an uphill battle, I don’t think they’re going to win this PR battle, and why wasn’t Apple transparent on this from the beginning?

    • techfreak23

      That’s the only thing that Apple did wrong in this situation. They weren’t transparent at all about it. Either way, people would have been up in arms had Apple tried to warn them about performance issues due to an aging battery. If it’s not one thing, it’s another… ?

      • M_Hawke

        I don’t think so. I think most would have looked at it as innovative or good customer service had they been transparent. It would actually have come off as a feature.

      • techfreak23

        Trust me, in my 3 years as a technician at a premium authorized service provider, I can’t tell you how many times people got pissed off about certain features that were meant to help them.
        There is also an alarming number of people that ignore the pop ups and the things the phone is trying to tell them. People would come in and say, “my phone is doing this, and there was something that came up on the screen with a message.” And I would ask, “what did it say?”
        “I don’t know. I just dismissed it and didn’t read it, but it keeps coming up.”
        *facepalm*
        Some people just shouldn’t have this kind of technology… smdh

      • Shadowelite123

        Exactly. This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • M_Hawke

        LOL, yep, the things I’m sure you have experienced with people. Having long ago left dealing with retail public, I’ve forgotten how ignorant they are. They don’t read anything, don’t know what it means to follow instructions–shoot, where I live, they can’t even figure out the simple rules of a 4-way stop sign!

  • Jamessmooth

    I assume the lawsuit is happening in California? If so then there’s a chance.

  • Yannick Peters

    may not result in a big win for the individual consumer, but how many times can apple afford to look this bad and payout money at all…eventually this type of practice could do serious damage to their overall business reputation

    • techfreak23

      It’s a common practice and they didn’t really do anything wrong except for not being transparent about it. Either way, people will find something to complain about and sue for.

      • Senthet

        Common practice? Apple started with this in iOS 10.2 after they had problem with battery in some batches of iPhone 6S and later on found that same had happen with iPhone 6. And if it’s so common then we soon hear from Tesla owners too.

      • techfreak23

        You’re right. I may have been inaccurate in my statement about it currently being standard practice in this specific method, but as these phones become more powerful and demand more of the batteries, you probably won’t be surprised to find other companies implementing similar software features. They already do things in the software to preserve the batteries and the devices they power as long as possible, but maybe not this specifically. As you said, it wasn’t an issue until the 6s’s were shutting off unexpectedly and this is how Apple decided to handle it.
        If you want to bring Tesla into this, it came out earlier this year when the hurricanes in Florida were hitting that Tesla was reserving a small portion of the battery and unlocked it through a software upgrade so that people could get the most range out of their vehicles in a time of crisis. That was temporary, however, because allowing the battery to fully discharge is not good for the battery or the electrical components in the car. Now, I don’t know that it negatively affected performance in that situation, but I would imagine with that safety in place, you wouldn’t really notice any difference in acceleration and overall performance since they do reserve a small portion of the battery. Some owners claim that they do notice a difference and others claim they don’t. It’s kind of a toss up at this point. The point is that lithium ion batteries are somewhat finicky when in a low capacity state and there are software features in place to preserve the battery and the devices they are powering as long as possible.

      • Senthet

        Oh totally missed to read about that Tesla thing. I live in Sweden and think we still some years behind in the frequency of charging stations to be a real solution.

        The strange about the battery problem was when I bought a iPhone 6S in September 2015 and start to get shutdown even from 90% battery. And if started to charge it could take up to two three days before it was operational again. Took it to Apple store 4 times in about 6 months time and every time they say it was no problem with the phone. But the 5 time I told them to give me a brand new phone. And after some arguing they finally gave me one. I still have a feeling the battery problem is more complex than just aging battery.

      • Battery performance deteriorates over time and yet, consumers want all day performance. It’s a problem that effects the entire tech industry.

        For instance, Microsoft Windows will artificially extend battery life by throttling your laptop every time it goes on battery. Obviously a phone and a laptop are different, but the point is that all manner of tech products from companies across the board have dealbt with this issue in their own ways (and many of these solutions involve throttling)

  • bscaine

    Yeah and this if Apple looses will be translated into an increase of the price on apple products

    • Icebox766

      Apple won’t lose. It will settle.

      • techfreak23

        Even if they did lose, which they won’t, it wouldn’t translate to a price increase on future products like this guy thinks it will. It doesn’t work that way… ?

  • Just give free replacements to those affected for the next couple of years! Problem solved!

  • Rares

    Stop feeding fake news. Apple has been doing this since ios 10.2, not “all these years”. If the older iphones were slower, it was because the os was unoptimized but they never underclocked CPUs, not since 10.2

    • Exactly, people have been accusing Apple of slowing down devices for at least 6 years now but somehow Apple’s “new” solution to complaignts that old phones don’t retain all day battery life is supposed to prove that Apple has been lying all along and needs to be taken to court…