A consumer champion filed a legal claim against Apple that could cost the iPhone maker 750 million British pounds ($926 million). The complainant alleged that Apple intentionally slowed down older iPhone models to cope with the power demand of software updates. Apple allegedly released the power management tool that slowed down older iPhones without telling customers.
Legal Claim Could Cost Apple £750 Million
The Guardian reported that consumer champion Justin Gutmann filed a legal claim linking to a 2017 incident. The report said that Apple hid a power management tool in software updates. Gutmann alleged that Apple intentionally did so to help older iPhones combat performance issues. The ploy also stopped older iPhones from suddenly shutting down.
Gutmann filed the claim with the competition appeal tribunal. If the tribunal rules against Apple, the Cupertino-based company might have to pay as much as 750 million British pounds ($926 million) for up to 25 million iPhone owners in the U.K.
The legal claim also accused Apple of misleading users into install software updates with the promise of improving the performance of their iPhones. According to Gutmann, the updates did the contrary and have slowed down the older iPhones instead.
Apple Releases the Power Management Tool Via Software Update
Looking back, the legal claim had its basis in a 2017 incident when Apple introduced a power management tool in software updates for iPhones. Gutmann alleged that Apple released the power management tool to slow down older iPhone models with aging batteries. These iPhones struggled to run the latest iOS updates and the tool was supposed to prevent older iPhones from abruptly shutting down.
Additionally, Gutmann alleged that Apple issued the power management tool to hide the fact that iPhone batteries could not cope with the processing demands of newer iOS. But instead of recalling the iPhones or replacing their batteries, Apple decided to issue the software updates.
Gutmann further said that although Apple mentioned the power management tools in release notes of the iOS, it failed to mention that the software update would slow down older iPhone models.
Software Update Allows Users to Turn Off the Power Management Tool
Sometime in 2017, Apple apologized to iPhone users after they noticed performance issues that happened after the software update. Apple also said that it would replace the batteries of affected iPhones for a highly discounted rate. Additionally, Apple also issued a software update that allowed users to turn off the power management tool.
However, Gutmann said that Apple failed to properly inform the public about its battery replacement program for the affected iPhones. The battery replacement program would cost a user 25 British pounds ($30) plus return shipping. Gutman further said that Apple tried to abuse its market dominance.
Gutmann’s claim covers iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models.