According to a MacRumors report, Apple Inc is now facing 59 class action lawsuits in the U.S. over its alleged practice of purposely slowing older iPhones to entice customers to upgrade to newer and often more expensive models.
MacRumors also found that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation plans to centralize most of the lawsuits as the complaints are often overlapping. A court near the tech giant’s California headquarters will likely hear the cases.
The panel will decide if the complaints will be sent to a single court during a hearing on March 29. Similar cases filled across several states are traditionally centralized. So far, 16 district courts were asked to solve complaints against Apple in the Batterygate scandal. Internationally, Apple was sued by customers in six other states.
The lawsuits started pouring in late December when the company admitted that it had been throttling the performance of older handsets via software updates.
Apple Slowing Down Older iPhones, But Reasons Vary
Apple Inc dismissed rumors that the practice was designed to benefit its bottom line. It argued that the slowdowns were necessary to prevent chemically aged batteries from unexpectedly restart the iPhones when the CPU was overwhelmed.
Apple secretly rolled out the feature with iOS 10.2.1. Most customers are angry that they weren’t told about the practice. The change was never mentioned in the operating system’s release notes. In a later statement, the company described the practice as “improvements” to prevent unwanted shutdowns of the phones.
Apple finally acknowledged that the “improvements” were deliberate throttling of the phone’s performance after a Primate Labs report showing that older iPhones were slowed down by their maker surfaced in the media. The company apologized for the inconvenience and slashed the retail price for new batteries to $29 through the end of the year.
Apple continues to deny any planned wrongdoing.
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