New California class action launched over iPhone throttling issue

Roger Fingas reports for AppleInsider:

A collection of 18 plaintiffs have launched a new class action through a U.S. District Court in San Jose, joining cases that have since been consolidated accusing Apple of fraudulent behavior in deliberately throttling older iPhones with weaker batteries.

The plaintiffs in this latest case are from diverse parts of the U.S. such as Alaska, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania, and in a few instances the U.K. and Japan, according to court documents.

Lawyers with Levi & Korsinksky LLP have specifically charged Apple with violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as California’s Unfair Competition Law, Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, and “trespass to chattels” rules.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple handled this poorly and deserves to learn a lesson so that the company properly communicates with customers in the future.

There’s no excusing this one. Apple deserves the ongoing headache. Hopefully, when all is said and done and paid, the company will have learned an important lesson about transparency and communication with their customers.MacDailyNews, February 27, 2018

You can see why some think that Apple wanted to keep what they were doing a secret. If people knew that a $79 battery replacement would give them an iPhone that performed like it did on day one, a meaningful percentage would take that option versus buying a new iPhone. Now that it’s just $29 this year, that percentage will naturally increase.

Then again, as Hanlon’s razor states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Apple’s made up of people. People are imperfect. We’ll take Apple’s word for it that they “always wanted… customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible” and that they “have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.” — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

Again, it’s Apple’s lack of communication that is the problem here. If Apple had clearly explained what was going on in the software, we’d know to recommend a battery replacement when users complained their older iPhones were getting “slow.” As it was, we were pretty much left to assume that the processor/RAM wasn’t up to par with demands of newer iOS releases and we’d naturally recommend getting a new iPhone.

Just yesterday, we had a friend complain that his iPhone 6 was acting “slow” and we knew to recommend a battery replacement (even though he instead opted to get himself an iPhone X on our strong recommendation).MacDailyNews, December 29, 2017

As has almost always been the case with Apple, unfortunately, transparency comes later, not sooner, and usually as a reaction to negative publicity. A simple Knowledge Base article would have preempted all of this Reddit sleuthing and the attendant handwringing and erroneous presumptions.MacDailyNews, December 20, 2017


  1. Don’t really care whether Apple made a handling mistake or not.. The intention was good IMHO, and the lawsuits are ultimately useless, the plaintiff’s will get next to nothing for their efforts, what do they think there going to get a free iPhone or a big check, they;ll be lucky to get modest iTunes card. meanwhile, their lawyers get big paydays..

    1. You don’t know why/how things work.
      What we all get from this is one more reminder to corporations that they need to think about being honest and not misleading their customers.
      They take potential lawsuits into account when making decisions. Other than regulations (which you might be against if you are a small-government proponent), it is the threat of lawsuits that has led to safer products. They literally do the math on the liability versus the cost of making something safer.

      The lawyers get most of the money because they do most of the work to hold corporations accountable. Maybe the plaintiffs should get more, but we all benefit from the fact that these kinds of lawsuits make corporations think hard (well, harder – they are still often lazy) about cutting corners.

  2. With the way nanny-state California always knows what’s best for everyone else ie ‘saving you from yourself’ elitism, they should be the last state to complain about iphone throttling.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.