Limited iPhone and obsolescence: Apple faces justice in UK

Apple is not done with the controversy over the limited iPhones. Years after the French complaint of planned obsolescence, it’s the British court’s turn to take a closer look at Apple’s practice.

Like a little air of deja vu. In the UK, a new lawsuit has just been filed against Apple, accused of deliberately limiting the performance of its older phones during the implementation of an update in 2017. If the case reminds you of anything, this is quite normal as it is with the restrained iPhones that French justice had already taken a closer look at a few years ago.

Justin Gutmann, a consumer protection specialist, is demanding a fine of 768 million pounds from Apple (almost 900 million euros) for alleged misleading practices. In the search for this lawsuit, Apple’s lack of communication about the effects of the famous update of 2017. Exposed, according to Apple, to preserve the battery of old iPhones and prevent them from dying prematurely, this update day has resulted in limiting the performance of some mobiles with tired batteries.

Apple attacked for its lack of communication

According to Justin Gutmann, Apple at the time did not detail the exact content of this update or the effects it could have on older phones. Information on the subject was actually shared by Apple on its website, but in another step, the complaint reads. The consequences of installing this update have therefore not been clearly explained, points out Justin Gutmann, Apple is content to say that this version “improves energy management during peak loadsIndependent tests commissioned on this occasion claim that the performance of certain iPhones (especially 6s and 7) may have been reduced by 58%.

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The specialist even accuses Apple of pushing this update to the limit, sometimes showing up to 70 notifications on the subject and explaining that devices that did not install it exposed themselves to security risks – which is quite true. “Instead of doing what is honest and legal for its customers, such as offering a free replacement, repair service or compensation, Apple tricked them into hiding a tool in software updates that slowed their devices down to 58%“explains the expert. Note that Apple has actually ended up offering battery replacement at favorable prices to those affected by the problem.

In France, planned obsolescence is becoming clearer

This new complaint, which comes years after the dispute, takes a different angle of attack than the French case in 2018. Justin Gutmann is attacking Apple due to lack of communication and transparency, where in 2018 the company had been directly sued for planned obsolescence. A crime that had not been restrained by justice, who preferred to convict Apple of a “misleading business practices by defaultA problem very close to what Justin Gutmann raised.

Today, “no convictions have been handed down on the basis of the crime’s planned statute of limitations“indicates the HOP association. This is an overly narrow definition of the offense, which until recently could only apply if it was proved that a maneuver of this kind was intended”increase the compensation percentage“. A very difficult condition to prove according to the association. The law of November 2021 changed this detail and now defines the offense as any”use of techniques, including software, whereby the person responsible for placing a product on the market aims to deliberately reduce its lifespan;* “.

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