Many millions of Americans have come to rely on their smartphones. Not just for communication, but for many purposes in their daily lives: checking email, streaming videos, and playing games. They are now almost irreplaceable, a luxury yet a necessity, and frustration can mount if a phone or internet connection starts to run slowly. This is exactly what many iPhone users are saying that the company has caused – slow phones – in several class action lawsuits, as the LA Times reports.
Owners of iPhones in several states have filed class-action lawsuits against the manufacturer Apple. One of the complaints is that the company did not disclose sooner that software updates slowed down the phone in order to save on battery life.
Lawsuits filed in districts in New York, California, and Illinois allege that silence from Apple made owners think that they had to upgrade to more expensive phones instead of simply changing the battery.
The litigation has even gone international, with a customer filing a lawsuit in Israel, alleging that the company failed to disclose that software updates would slow older phones, causing a breach of duty to the customer.
Apple confirmed last week what high-tech sleuths outside the company had already discovered: the company deployed software that slowed down consumer phones. The company reported that the software upgrades were to deal with degraded lithium-ion batteries, which would otherwise die unexpectedly.
The Illinois lawsuit explicitly states the intent of the company:
“Apple’s decision to purposefully … throttle down these devices,” it says, “was undertaken to fraudulently induce consumers to purchase the latest iPhone.”
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