Apple sued in EU for $217 million over ‘iPhone throttling’

Apple is facing lawsuits in several European Union (EU) countries seeking about 180 million euros ($217 million) over throttling older iPhones with deteriorated batteries.

Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus
Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus

Stephanie Bodoni for Bloomberg News:

A group of five European consumer organizations filed class-action suits in Belgium and Spain and plans to sue in Italy and Portugal over the coming weeks, Euroconsumers said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The lawsuits concern users of various iPhone 6 devices.

The lawsuits mirror U.S. cases over claims that the company misled consumers about iPhone battery power and software updates that slowed the performance of the devices. The California-based company last month agreed to pay $113 million to settle a case with multiple U.S. regulators while customers are seeking approval from a U.S. court for a class-action settlement that could be worth as much as $500 million.

Euroconsumers… sent a cease and desist letter to Apple in July, asking it to stop a practice that allegedly forces users to install updates that slow down their phones so much that they become obsolete and a new model is needed.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s very and increasingly expensive lesson in customer communication – one that could have been completely avoided with the publication of a simple support document that explained the “iPhone throttling’ feature – continues.

Apple handled this poorly and deserves to learn a lesson so that the company properly communicates with customers in the future.MacDailyNews, August 1, 2019

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. What’s next, Apple being sued for dimming the screen to extend battery life. These are very stupid and frivolous lawsuits, MDN should know better and be more supportive of Apple.

    1. Normally I’d agree in most cases but Apple did wrong in this case, very wrong, they should have been upfront about this from the start and not their lack of transparency is costing them literally and while I’m a fan of Apple in general, this is inexcusable from a billion dollar company as big as Apple. You don’t slow down older IPhones with degraded batteries and not inform customers about it, as much as I love Apple, this is deserved and hopefully Apple will learn from this.

      1. Yeah, I guess sudden shutdowns and reboots, the way it used to be was preferable to Apple’s attempt to help users lengthen the useful life of their phones by slowing it, rather than letting it crash. Heaven forbid a good deed go unpunished.

      2. Yeah I guess you think it would be better to allow consumers to override throttling, and make their phone unusable in the event of an emergency. What Apple did is no big deal, lawyers try to make a big deal, and those Apple geniuses who profess to be experts

    1. And also incudes your Tesla, and all the other EV’s constant control every step of the way sun up to sun down. Anti science/tech people seem to have problem with that any Geek bench test (M1 CPU) shows that control in action.

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