Apple recently confirmed that it was, in fact, purposefully slowing down performance of older iPhone models after the batteries degrade overtime. The behavior was first made public by a Redditor, claiming that their iPhone ran smoother and faster after giving it a brand-new battery.
A spate of similar claims followed shortly thereafter, with highly credible proof, no less. These folks said that their iPhones also started running more efficiently after a battery replacement — they posted Geekbench results to prove it, too.
Many theories came flying. Some speculated that the revelation would spark high-profile legal action against Apple. Some are even saying it's an example of "planned obsolescence," or when manufacturers intentionally design or apply updates to products for them not to last long — and thus force users to buy another one.
The planned obsolescence part seems like a stretch. But the legal action part isn't. Apple has now been hit with a class action lawsuit over its performance slowdown tactic. Filed in a California court, the lawsuit accuses the company of causing users to suffer and hurting the value of older devices.
Apple Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over iPhone Slowdown
TMZ reports that the lawsuit primarily focuses on the iPhone 7, which was recently updated with the performance-throttling feature. Because of this, it's safe to assume that there are other lawsuits to come moving forward that focuses on other models Apple also intentionally throttles.
The plaintiff argues that Apple's decision to intentionally slow down older iPhone models to balance battery health was "never requested or agreed upon." He also claims that Apple uses this feature as a way to force consumers to upgrade their phone every year. Apple, like most other manufacturers, releases a new version of their smartphone every year.
The plaintiff seeks damages to affected users, and they also want Apple to stop implementing the performance/battery balancing feature.
Will This Lawsuit Go Anywhere?
Does this lawsuit have any chance of getting traction? It's hard to say. 9to5Mac notes that it almost certainly overgeneralizes Apple's intentions and misrepresents its intentions. Even still, there's something to be said about people buying a premium product not knowing it would run significantly slower after a certain period has passed. Sure, lithium-ion batteries — the ones used inside iPhones — degrade overtime. That's common knowledge. What isn't common knowledge, however, is companies secretly throttling performance to adjust to battery quality.
Check back with Tech Times to see how the lawsuit goes.