Apple hit with another lawsuit over alleged iPhone ‘planned obsolescence’

In another episode of the unending “Batterygate” saga, Apple is facing a new lawsuit from Deco Proteste, a private consumer organization from Portugal, over “planned obsolescence” with the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus.

Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus debuted on September 25, 2015
Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus

José Adorno for 9to5Mac:

The lawsuit alleges that Apple’s planned obsolescence forces consumers to buy a new phone before they would otherwise have to.

As reported by Marketeer, this consumer protection organization waited three years without an answer from Apple in Europe before filing this lawsuit. Now, Deco Proteste is taking the company to court to defend 115,000 Portuguese iPhone users…

The statement published today by this private consumer protection organization from Portugal alleges that Apple manipulated iPhone users: “Apple deliberately manipulated, and without informing its users, the performance of its most popular devices, the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus. In doing so, Apple forced several users to replace the battery of their devices or to buy a new smartphone.”

Deco Proteste argues in this lawsuit that Apple should pay affected users for the battery replacement and 10% of the iPhone value. It corresponds to €7 million, or €60 per phone in Portugal.

MacDailyNews Take: Sometimes lessons are expensive to learn.

There won’t be another iPhone Batterygate because Apple wants, and needs, previously-owned iPhones to known for reliability as the secondary market is key for Apple to grow their iPhone users base, which in turn feeds Apple’s Services business and provides a halo for other products such as iPads, Apple Watches, Macs, Apple TVs, HomePods, etc.

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. Before “Batterygate,” iPhones with end-of-life batteries did not fail safe by slowing down. They just stopped working suddenly and usually without warning. Thanks to Murphy’s Law, this generally happened when you needed your phone most urgently, like when your car ran out of gas in a snowstorm (cold weather made the iPhone problem worse).

    I wish Apple had told me what was going on, but I would choose a slow phone over no phone every day of the week. I did not notice that my iPhone 6 was running slower when it was under stress. I did notice that the battery wasn’t going dead as frequently. That made me more likely to keep my phone and not upgrade, not the reverse.

    Again, Apple could have been more open about battery choking, but they simply assumed that consumers would choose what they would choose.

    1. I’m still using my 6 Plus and my wife her 6. We have to charge more often now but they work just as well as they always have. Of course we can’t update to the latest version of iOS, but that hasn’t really been a problem, and we still get security updates.

    1. “As has almost always been the case with Apple, unfortunately, transparency comes later, not sooner, and usually as a reaction to negative publicity.”

      Welcome to the Apple under Tim Cook…

      1. “Again, Apple could have been more open about battery choking”

        Total 🐂💩Cook APOLOGIST! As MDN posted and you totally IGNORED:

        ““As has almost always been the case with Apple, unfortunately, transparency comes later, not sooner, and usually as a reaction to negative publicity.”

        Got it, BRAINLESS?…

        1. My apologies and retract the post. Actually agree with Txer Apple should have done better. When you mix IPAs and wine after a 11 hour workday, whoa. Going to bed now…

  2. My 4s got far slower with iOS 7. It was so bad that I couldn’t even use it to listen to music anymore – it would take 20 seconds for the phone to start up a song or respond to button presses. My 6s is still holding up mostly. But I have no doubt that Apple has engaged in this sort of thing before.

    1. God only knows, but it’s hard to imagine that Steve would have deliberately SCREWED his faithful users to slime off some extra shekels by forcing them to buy new iPhones instead of offering an alternative. Apple has been making boatloads of cash for well over a decade by delivering “insanely great” products that “delight” their customers, going the extra mile to do their customers a solid would cost them millions of dollars that would pay billions in future dividends in loyalty and enthusiasm. Sadly that attitude has slinked away under TC and the Luca Maestri, soulless, bean-counting douchebags.

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