Fazio | Micheletti LLP has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple. alleging that Apple deliberately caused iPhones to operate so slowly that customers were forced to replace them and buy new iPhones or other devices.
The problem began when iPhones began shutting down suddenly and unexpectedly, even though battery levels were registering at more than 50 percent full, due to the batteries' inability to handle high processing speeds. Initially, Apple offered to provide customers with new batteries for a limited number of iPhone models, the problem continued in other iPhone models as well.
Rather than replacing the batteries in all the affected devices, however, Apple addressed a hardware problem with a software fix: By modifying the iPhone's operating system (iOS) to slow processing speeds as a means of prolonging battery life, the affected iPhones' performance suffered dramatically, causing customers to replace them, most often with a newer model of iPhone.
As it did in another case we prosecuted several years ago, Apple sought to have it both ways: Deny the existence of a problem while trading on that problem to sell more iPhones. Here, Apple's software"solution" allowed it to avoid bearing the cost of replacing millions of iPhone batteries by slowing processing speeds enough to prevent sudden shutdowns (and thereby concealing the true nature and scope of the battery defect). Meanwhile, Apple profited from the sale of new iPhones that customers purchased (and continue to purchase) from Apple when customers become so frustrated with the poor performance of their current iPhones that they are compelled to buy new ones.
The lawsuit has just gotten underway and we continue to investigate the problem. If you own an iPhone that has slowed or shut down on a regular basis, please contact us and tell us about your experience.
You can reach us by submitting the form on our Contact page or by sending us an email message that includes a brief description of your experience and the best way we can reach you.
UPDATE: On January 11, 2018, MacRumors reported that Apple has announced another change in its battery-replacement program, which is now delayed until late March or early April 2018 because so many iPhones are affected Apple cannot keep up with the demand for replacement batteries -- even though it is charging customers at least $29 for replacements. After initially announcing that the battery-replacement program would begin sometime in early 2018, Apple began the program two days later, on December 30, 2017. And although Apple originally said it would not provide battery replacements at the "reduced" price of $29 unless the iPhone in question failed its diagnostic tests, Apple required the tests but provided replacements at that price regardless of the test results. Now, Apple will ignore the results of diagnostic testing for the first replacement, but is requiring customers to pay $79 for subsequent replacements unless their iPhone fails the test.
We believe iPhone owners are entitled to, among other things, a free replacement of their battery and full reimbursement of the cost of the devices Apple customers were forced to repair and/or purchase as a result of Apple's decision to slow down their existing iPhones as a means of concealing the existence, nature and scope of the battery problem. We intend to pursue those remedies for all owners and former owners of an affected iPhone.
Meanwhile, Fazio | Micheletti, along with our co-counsel, Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and for expedited discovery on behalf of our clients to require Apple to preserve evidence pertaining to the litigation -- including the data, the batteries, and the iPhones Apple has collected in connection with the battery-replacement program it so hastily began just over a week after our original complaint was filed.
If you have information that may be help resolve this matter, please let us know.