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Apple is facing a GBP 750 million lawsuit in the United Kingdom over an iPhone software update

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After a consumer rights group filed a claim alleging Apple of secretly slowing down older iPhone models, the company is facing a £750 million (878 million euros, $918 million) lawsuit in the United Kingdom.

According to Justin Gutmann, Apple “throttled” the performance of earlier iPhone devices after consumers made updates that were supposed to boost the device’s performance.

He alleges that Apple never informed consumers that the upgrade may cause their smartphone to slow down and that the tool was created to disguise the inability of older iPhone batteries to handle the demands of newer operating systems.

“We have never — and would never — do anything to purposefully reduce the life of any Apple device or impair the user experience to force consumer upgrades,” Apple stated.

“Our objective has always been to make products that our customers love,” the statement said, “and ensuring iPhones last as long as possible is a crucial part of that.”

Gutmann’s action to the Competition Appeal Tribunal seeks GBP 768 million in damages for 25 million iPhone customers (roughly Rs. 7,372 crores).

The issue centres on a power management mechanism introduced in a 2017 software update that slowed down older iPhone models and prevented them from shutting down unexpectedly as they battled with the overhead of a new operating system.

Gutmann believes that Apple never informed consumers that the upgrade may cause their device to slow down and that the tool was created to avoid expensive repairs or recalls.

“Rather than doing the right thing by its consumers and giving a free replacement, repair service, or compensation,” Gutmann added, “Apple deceived individuals by hiding a tool in software upgrades that delayed their devices by up to 58 per cent.”

“I’m filing this lawsuit so that millions of iPhone customers in the United Kingdom may be compensated for the damage caused by Apple’s conduct.”

Apple issued an apology at the time, stating that it would replace batteries at a reduced cost and enable consumers to switch off the power management function manually.

In response to legal action in multiple countries, it agreed to pay up to $500 million (approximately Rs. 3,903 crores) in 2020 to owners of earlier models in the United States.

In the same year, French regulators penalized the company EUR 25 million (approximately Rs. 205 crores) for neglecting to warn that software upgrades may slow down older models.

Owners of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X devices are eligible for reimbursement.