Apple sued for £750 million in UK for secretly ‘throttling’ iPhones in 2017

Apple has been hit with a multimillion-pound lawsuit that could result in millions of iPhone users being reimbursed over a secret decision the company made in a software update released in January 2017 that “throttled” the speed of older iPhones.

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


Apple, which has acknowledged the “throttling”, maintains that this was to prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly.

However the company did not offer users the option to disengage the setting and did not inform users their phones were being slowed intentionally.

Consumer rights activist Justin Gutmann, working with law firm Charles Lyndon, has filed a complaint against Apple over the decision with the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple will rightfully lose this case (as they already have in multiple countries). The only question is the final settlement amount that Apple will be required to pay.

Expect more repetitive lessons to occur around the world as Apple’s very and increasingly expensive lesson in customer communication continues – a lesson that could have been completely avoided with the publication of a simple support document that explained the “iPhone throttling” feature.MacDailyNews, April 8, 2021

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

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