Two Los Angeles iPhone owners are taking Apple to task over software updates that allegedly slow down older iPhones.
Apple announced on Dec. 20 that it has been purposely slowing down older iPhone models, confirming what many iPhone owners already suspected was the case.
Two such owners, plaintiffs Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, filed an Apple class action lawsuit on Thursday accusing Apple of improperly interfering with their use of their iPhones and failing to give them the value they paid for.
Bogdanovich and Speas say they have owned iPhone models 7 and 7s, and have noticed recently that their older models slow down when newer models of iPhone are released. They argue that Apple has no right to interfere with the use of their phones, and that by doing so, Apple has deprived them of the value they paid for.
Apple explains that the slowdown results from a new power management feature. The feature rearranges certain software activity to prevent the phone from demanding more power from the battery than the battery is capable of providing.
This problem happens more frequently in cold weather, when the battery charge is low, or as the battery ages, the company says. The power management feature prevents the phone from shutting off unexpectedly to prevent damage, Apple says.
On the other hand, the change in processing causes the phone to run slower. Critics accuse Apple of purposely slowing down older phones to give their owners a reason to purchase newer models of iPhones.
Apple says the problem may be resolved by replacing older batteries that have run out their service life. An authorized battery replacement costs $79.
The plaintiffs say Apple is liable to them for the costs incurred in dealing with the Apple-driven iPhone slowdown – namely, the costs of replacement phones, lost use and lost value of their existing phones, and replacement batteries.
Plaintiffs argue that by accepting the purchase price of their iPhones, Apple is bound not to interfere with the customers’ use of those iPhones. Now that Apple has failed to honor that implied duty, the plaintiffs say they have not gotten what they paid for and Apple is liable to them for the purported overcharge.
Were it not for this implied obligation on Apple’s part not to impair these iPhones’ performance after they were purchased, the plaintiffs say they and their proposed Class Members would not have bought them.
The plaintiffs seek to represent a nationwide Class that would include all U.S. residents who have owned iPhone models older than iPhone 8. They also propose a subclass to cover California Class Members.
They seek a court injunction barring Apple from continuing to slow down older iPhones, plus an award of damages, restitution and disgorgement, as well as court costs and attorney’s fees.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Colin M. Jones and Bobby Saadian of Wilshire Law Firm.
The Apple iPhone Slowdown Class Action Lawsuit is Bogdanovich, et al. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-09138, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.