Apple faces lawsuits over its throttling of older iPhones

Days after Apple disclosed that it throttles the performance of its old devices, some iPhone users have filed a class-action lawsuit over the issue. In a highly controversial admission, Apple said last week that it slows its older devices to protect them from problems related to new iOS updates.

“Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” the company said in a statement.

Lawsuits claim Apple’s throttling of iPhones has harmed users

The admission of performance-throttling, which has long been suspected by iPhone users, has enraged many Apple customers, who accuse the company of selfishly sabotaging their devices instead of extending warranties or producing new batteries for their older phones.

Now, at least nine lawsuits have been filed — one of them asking for $999 million, according to tech website Patently Apple.

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All of the litigation means that Apple will have to defend itself in court, where things could get sketchy for the  company. “If it turns out that consumers would have replaced their battery instead of buying new iPhones had they known the true nature of Apple’s upgrades, you might start to have a better case for some sort of misrepresentation or fraud,” Boston University professor Rory Van Loo, a specialist in consumer tech law, told Reuters.

Two plaintiffs from California, Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas were among the first to file a class-action lawsuit against Apple. The official filing was released online by CBS New York.

It claims, among other things, that Apple’s “wrongful actions directly and proximately caused the interference and loss of value to Plaintiffs and Class Members’ iPhones causing them to suffer, and continue to suffer, economic damages and other harm for which they are entitled to compensation, including: a. Replacement of old phone; b. Loss of use; c. Loss of value; d. Purchase of new batteries; e. Ascertainable losses in the form of deprivation of the value of their iPhone; f. Overpayments to Defendant for iPhones.”

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While the Apple case is a highly publicized one, many people who are owed money for being part of a class-action lawsuit don’t even know about it. The process of informing plaintiffs about settlements isn’t as formal as it needs to be for various reasons.

“I think consumers would be very surprised at just how many class action lawsuits they are a part of,” Joe Ridout, CEO of Consumer Action, a California-based consumer rights group, told ConsumerFraudForum.com.

How to find out if you’re a part of a class-action lawsuit

So how do you find out if you’re owed some money? There are a number of entities that promote suits and settlements. Here are a few:

  • ClassActionRebates.com allows you to search for products that you use and shows you if the manufacturer is involved in a class-action lawsuit.
  • Another site is MySettlementClaims.com, which shows settlements from class-action lawsuits on its homepage. If you follow the prompts, it will take you to a claims form as well.
  • TopClassActions.com is another online resource that shows where the money is. There’s also a section called “Active Investigations” that lets you know lawsuits that are pending.

For more links to settlement sites, click on the link below.

RELATED: I just got $46 from a class-action lawsuit I forgot all about

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