Global backlash spreads over Apple slowing down iPhones

Apple is facing legal action around the world for deliberately slowing down older iPhones.Consumer groups and ...

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 1:19 PM
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 1:19 PM

Apple is facing legal action around the world for deliberately slowing down older iPhones.

Consumer groups and government authorities across three continents have filed complaints, opened investigations or sued Apple over the iPhone slowdown.

Apple claimed good intentions: It said that a recent software update helped prevent iPhones from suddenly shutting down. The company insists that it has "never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product."

Apple has since apologized and made battery replacement cheaper. In response to the outcry, it says that it will also roll out a new update that will "give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery."

Related: Apple apologizes for slowing iPhone, drops battery prices

That wasn't enough to satisfy some consumers and government officials, though.

Here's what's going on in several major countries around the world. Apple declined to comment to CNNMoney about any of these cases.

United States

More than 30 suits have been filed in the U.S. in a number of different courts throughout the country. Most of them focus on the claim that Apple slowed down users' phones without their knowledge or permission.

One of the most recent was filed by an iPhone owner on Monday in California, accusing Apple of "unfair business practices" and "breach of implied contract."

The plaintiff, Scott Grillo, said his iPhone "suffered material and increasing degradation" after a software upgrade.

Related: What to do if you think Apple's slowing down your phone

Apple has also taken heat from a high-profile U.S. lawmaker over its handling of the controversy.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota criticized Apple's lack of communication with its customers.

"Even if Apple's actions were indeed only intended to avoid unexpected shutdowns in older phones ... there should have been better transparency with respect to these practices," wrote Thune, the chairman of the Senate's Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

South Korea

An advocacy group in South Korea, Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, has sued Apple and its subsidiary in the country.

The group told CNN it filed a civil suit in a South Korean court on Thursday and is now preparing a criminal lawsuit alleging destruction of property.

More than 120 people have joined the suit, which seeks 2.2 million won ($2,050) in damages per plaintiff, according to Go Gye-hyun, the leader of the group. He admitted the amount they're seeking is ambitious.

France

The public prosecutor's office in Paris opened an inquiry into the iPhone slowdown after a consumer advocacy group called Stop Planned Obsolescence filed a complaint.

Under French law, it is a crime to deliberately shorten the lifespan of products in order to make consumers buy new ones. Executives caught violating the law can face prison sentences of up to two years, and their companies can be fined up to 5% of their annual sales, according to the group.

Related: Smoking iPhone battery forces Apple store evacuation

"At more than -1,200 ($1,400) per phone, these practices are unacceptable and cannot go unpunished. It is our mission to defend consumers and the environment," said Laetitia Vasseur, co-founder of the consumer group.

-- Sophie Jeong contributed to this report.

Terre Haute
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Robinson
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 32°
Indianapolis
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 26°
Rockville
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 27°
Casey
Clear
29° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 21°
Brazil
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 29°
Marshall
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Peaceful Weather
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 697489

Reported Deaths: 12594
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2961296450
DuPage43513770
Will37368553
Lake36001623
Kane30756459
Winnebago18330259
Madison13868241
McHenry13788155
St. Clair12765256
Champaign1053857
Sangamon972599
Peoria8739129
Rock Island8358133
Kankakee8341103
McLean811354
Tazewell6480102
Macon6268129
Kendall606044
LaSalle5907132
DeKalb480846
Adams464448
Boone376133
Vermilion374247
Whiteside3631106
Williamson349180
Coles325358
Clinton323560
Ogle275233
Knox270462
Effingham265621
Grundy264418
Jackson259036
Henry253614
Marion239150
Stephenson237834
Livingston218424
Randolph218326
Morgan214035
Macoupin210817
Bureau205041
Monroe200144
Franklin198725
Lee189429
Christian184142
Jefferson180959
Woodford166826
Fayette163828
Logan161713
Iroquois161526
McDonough155440
Fulton139911
Shelby133826
Douglas131416
Jersey120523
Union116128
Montgomery111519
Crawford109313
Saline108624
Perry105223
Jo Daviess104917
Warren104420
Carroll102824
Bond100710
Lawrence99610
Pike99027
Cass94723
Hancock93612
Wayne86833
Moultrie86610
Clay81319
Greene80728
Edgar77516
Clark77019
Piatt7585
Ford72922
Richland72319
Mercer71210
Mason70219
Johnson6996
Washington6642
Jasper63411
Cumberland60616
De Witt59617
White5868
Massac5793
Wabash5318
Menard4441
Unassigned4340
Pulaski4072
Marshall3826
Hamilton3763
Brown3183
Henderson2760
Schuyler2641
Alexander2522
Putnam2400
Stark2363
Calhoun2310
Scott2310
Edwards2233
Gallatin1873
Hardin1440
Pope941
Out of IL200

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266