Apple sued in Italy over planned iPhone obsolescence

Altroconsumo is an Italian consumer association focused on consumer’s rights, and it’s not happy with Apple. The organization has filed a lawsuit in Italy over what it’s describing as “planned obsolescence”.

Reuters is reporting today that the consumer association has filed a class action lawsuit against the company based out of the United States. Planned obsolescence is a practice that sees companies launching a product that will, eventually, fail in some way or another in time with some kind of replacement. Apple ran into the same complaints in the United States related to the battery throttling “feature” some time ago (which it recently settled).

Altroconsumo says it is seeking damages of 60 million euros (about $73 million USD) over the practice, all on behalf of Italian consumers.

Here are the iPhones this latest lawsuit includes:

According to the report, Apple sold upwards of one million of these iPhones between the years 2014 and 2020.

Apple commented on the story, and said it doesn’t partake in planned obsolescence. However, the report notes that similar lawsuits have been filed against Apple in Spain and Belgium:

Apple said in an email that it had never done anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.

Two similar lawsuits against Apple have been filed in Belgium and Spain for the planned obsolescence of iPhones.

There’s another consumer association attached to the lawsuits, Euroconsumers, and says it plans on launching another class action lawsuit over planned obsolescence on Apple’s behalf in Portugal. The argument is pretty simple in their eyes: American consumers received compensation in similar legal matters, and now they expect the same for European customers as well.

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, Head of Policy and Enforcement at Euroconsumers. “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.

Apple will likely fight all of this in court in the coming months.