Law firm that extracted $450M settlement in Apple e-books case is going after company for ...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 5
Hagens Berman, the consumer rights law firm that successfully obtained a $450 million settlement from Apple over e-book price fixing, once again has the tech giant in its sights, and on Friday filed a class-action lawsuit over the iPhone throttling debacle.




In a suit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Hagens Berman alleges Apple secretly installed a feature on customer iPhones to intentionally slow down processor performance.

The complaint, which names New York resident John Solak as a plaintiff, seeks damages for performance degradation as a result of multiple iOS updates dating back to iOS 10.2.1. Further, compensation is sought for existing iPhone owners who purchased a new device to "alleviate Apple's secretive and unauthorized slowdown" of older hardware.

In December, a Reddit user detailed what appeared to be evidence of CPU throttling on iPhones with degraded batteries. Multiple iPhone owners came forward with system benchmarks tests that showed higher scores after a device's battery was replaced, suggesting Apple throttles performance without user knowledge. The revelations fueled a years-old conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhone models in order to sell new units to upgraders.

Certain findings were backed up by Geekbench's John Poole, who found a correlation between iPhone slowdowns, battery age and, importantly, iOS version. Specifically, Poole was able to plot a noticeable change in benchmark scores between iOS 10.2 and iOS 10.2.1.

As public forums cried foul, Apple responded by confirming that iOS temporarily slows down processor-intensive tasks on older iPhones with degraded batteries in an effort to keep those devices operating smoothly.

"Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We've now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future," Apple said, referring to the iOS 10.2.1 update released in 2016.

The statement was taken by some as an admission of guilt. As such, disgruntled customers began filing class-action lawsuits against the company to recoup lost expenses, the first of which was filed one day after Apple's response.

"It wasn't until Apple was faced with consumer outcry and bad press that it finally chose to come clean about its secretive installation of performance-limiting software on millions of iPhones," Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, said in a statement. "To add insult to injury, Apple's answer to its loyal customers is Pay us $29 for a replacement battery to fix our covered-up slowdown.' Consumers deserve a better answer."

Following consumer blowback, Apple penned an open letter to its customers apologizing for not communicating the feature or its potential ramifications to iPhone owners. As a consolation the company dropped the price of out-of-warranty battery replacements from $79 to $29, and will issue a software update in the coming months that will provide users with more information about the health of their device's battery.

Today's suit is the latest in a growing pile of about 30 class-action complaints filed across the U.S. Alongside the Hagens Berman suit, at least three cases were lodged in California and New York courts on Friday alone.

Hagens Berman has dedicated an informational webpage to its iPhone slowdown suit where owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus and SE devices can sign on to the case.

The law firm went up against Apple in 2014 over the company's e-book pricing strategy.

In 2013, the company was investigating, then sued, by the U.S. Department of Justice for employing so-called "agency model" pricing on e-book sales, which operates on a "most favored nations" basis that restricts content owners from selling the same product to a another retailer at a lower price. Apple was ultimately found guilty of colluding with major book publishers to falsely inflate the price of e-books sold on the iBooks Store.

Hagens Berman handled a separate class-action on behalf of consumers and citizens of 33 U.S. states and territories represented by state attorneys general. The firm achieved a $450 million settlement that was paid out in 2015.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 178
    p-dogp-dog Posts: 6member
    Well, it’s a good thing somebody didn’t spill hot coffee onto their lap as well.
    bshankJFC_PAchiaracerhomie3pscooter63macxpresschabiglkruppwatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 2 of 178
    ivanhivanh Posts: 75member
    1. Capacity depleted up to 20% of design should not fail to deliver peak power required by the iPhone;

    2. Running down to 30% energy left after a full charge will still provide peak power required by any iPhone;

    3. Not mentioned by any battery-gate article editors that all lithium-ion batteries have their own circuit processors managing the batteries. It should not be the iOS business to throttle it.

    4. iOS should not “assume” all batteries of the same age depleting at the same rate by the iPhone model, iOS version or the time-stamp of the battery on the iPhone and throttle the iPhones accordingly!

    larryaClarityToSeewilliamlondonairnerdairnerd78Bandit
  • Reply 3 of 178
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,199member
    p-dog said:
    Well, it’s a good thing somebody didn’t spill hot coffee onto their lap as well.
    You know the McDonald's coffee issue was legit, right?


    edited January 5 chiaClarityToSeeStrangeDaysdhawkins541king editor the gratewlymlarryjwronn
  • Reply 4 of 178
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,199member
    ivanh said:
    3. Not mentioned by any battery-gate article editors that all lithium-ion batteries have their own circuit processors managing the batteries. It should not be the iOS business to throttle it.

    4. iOS should not “assume” all batteries of the same age depleting at the same rate by the iPhone model, iOS version or the time-stamp of the battery on the iPhone and throttle the iPhones accordingly!

    1) Just because Apple pushes updates through iOS doesn't mean that it's the OS, and not the components, own processors that are telling the system what's going on. 

    2) iOS doesn't assume all batteries are the same.
    edited January 5 StrangeDayschabigrandominternetpersonmagman1979wlymflashfan207larryjwronnjbdragonjony0
  • Reply 5 of 178
    Batteries are much more complex than these bafoons know. Hopefully , Apple will make the right case & the judge will come out in favor of Apple.
    magman1979
  • Reply 6 of 178
    chiachia Posts: 677member
    ivanh said:
    1. Capacity depleted up to 20% of design should not fail to deliver peak power required by the iPhone;

    2. Running down to 30% energy left after a full charge will still provide peak power required by any iPhone;

    These are quite specific determinations and expectations.  Any citations?

    Are they based on science, observation, experience or expert opinion; that of an electronic/electrical engineer or a cut and paster?
    mwhitebonobobmr. hwilliamlondonStrangeDaysmagman1979watto_cobrawlymflashfan207icoco3
  • Reply 7 of 178
    This law firm does not actually believe they have a case. They are simply making a fuss hoping Apple will settle to make the negative press go away.

    People may not like what Apple’s doing, but what’s the argument? The only argument they will ever be able to make is that it makes consumers unhappy that Apple slowed down phones in specific circumstances in order to fix a shutdown problem due to aging batteries so that the device works more smoothly. That will go nowhere in the court and the law firm knows it.
    edited January 5 looplessanton zuykovchabigwatto_cobraflashfan207jbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 178
    Apple should have known better.
    edited January 6 williamlondonfeudalist
  • Reply 9 of 178

    georgie01 said:
    This law firm does not actually believe they have a case. They are simply making a fuss hoping Apple will settle to make the negative press go away.
    Did the law firm advise you personally that this was their motive?
    georgie01 said:
    The only argument they will ever be able to make is that it makes consumers unhappy that Apple slowed down phones in specific circumstances in order to fix a shutdown problem due to aging batteries so that the device works more smoothly.
    Did the law firm engage you as a consultant and your considered legal advice was that there was only one argument?
    georgie01 said:
    That will go nowhere in the court and the law firm knows it.
    Did the law firm advise you personally that this was their conclusion?


    singularitywilliamlondonfeudalist
  • Reply 10 of 178

    bluefire1 said:
    Apple should have known better.
    Maybe not "known" but Apple apologised about a week ago for not being more transparent.  As part of the apology, Apple has cut the cost of a replacement battery and committed to provide more visibility (specifics of this were not advised) in relation to the health of a device's battery in a future IOS update.  Missing in the Apple apology was an undertaking to provide the user with an IOS Settings choice 'Throttle/No Throttle & Accept Risks' once the battery performance drops to threshhold ... maybe someone on AI can explain whether giving the user a choice in IOS Settings is problematic.
  • Reply 11 of 178
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,199member
    kimberly said:
    bluefire1 said:
    Apple should have known better.
    Maybe not "known" but Apple apologised about a week ago for not being more transparent.  As part of the apology, Apple has cut the cost of a replacement battery and committed to provide more visibility (specifics of this were not advised) in relation to the health of a device's battery in a future IOS update.  Missing in the Apple apology was an undertaking to provide the user with an IOS Settings choice 'Throttle/No Throttle & Accept Risks' once the battery performance drops to threshhold ... maybe someone on AI can explain whether giving the user a choice in IOS Settings is problematic.
    I can't imagine ever seeing that option if the alternative is having the device shut down unexpectedly.
    bonobobalandailStrangeDaysmagman1979pscooter63watto_cobraronn
  • Reply 12 of 178
    petripetri Posts: 45member
    bluefire1 said:
    Apple should have known better.
    100% this.  The lawsuits are deserved.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 178
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,179member
    kimberly said:

     Missing in the Apple apology was an undertaking to provide the user with an IOS Settings choice 'Throttle/No Throttle & Accept Risks' once the battery performance drops to threshhold ... maybe someone on AI can explain whether giving the user a choice in IOS Settings is problematic.
    Because the number of people who would prefer to have their phone crash unexpectedly rather than slow down occasionally due to an ageing battery is  very small.

    I think it's worth pointing out that this "slowing down" only occurs when the battery needs replacing, and even then it is only when the battery (the one that needs replacing) cannot cope with load demanded by the processor. In reality, few users run their phone's processor at full pelt all the time. 
    racerhomie3williamlondonStrangeDaystmaychiajcs2305watto_cobrawlymflashfan207ronn
  • Reply 14 of 178
    alandailalandail Posts: 666member
    bluefire1 said:
    Apple should have known better.
    All they did was fix a problem.  Now they are being sued for fixing it.
    edited January 6 racerhomie3williamlondonchabigchiarandominternetpersonmagman1979pscooter63watto_cobrawlymflashfan207
  • Reply 15 of 178
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,179member
    alandail said:
    bluefire1 said:
    Apple should have known better.
    All they did was fix a problem.  Now they are being sued for fixing it.
    This is true, but all they had to do is look back at all the nonsense written about them for the past twenty years. Then they would have realised not being up front about it, straight away, was going to end badly. 
    williamlondonsingularitywatto_cobradysamoriaronn
  • Reply 16 of 178
    BluntBlunt Posts: 158member
    Rayz2016 said:
    alandail said:
    bluefire1 said:
    Apple should have known better.
    All they did was fix a problem.  Now they are being sued for fixing it.
    This is true, but all they had to do is look back at all the nonsense written about them for the past twenty years. Then they would have realised not being up front about it, straight away, was going to end badly. 

    Thats right twenty years of bullshit in the media. These quys didn't like Apple when they were small and now they are big they still hate them. Maybe a bit sour after all these years on Windows?
    watto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 17 of 178
    WoW, so LI batteries now have thier own Processor inside??? Whatah @@@
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 178
    I can't understand how people can defend apple in this situation, if they had been transparent about the problem then there wouldn't have been an investigation into this and outrage post factual results. 

    There Are None So Blind

    As Those Who Will Not See

    edited January 6 williamlondonsingularitydysamoria
  • Reply 19 of 178
    georgie01 said:
    This law firm does not actually believe they have a case. They are simply making a fuss hoping Apple will settle to make the negative press go away.

    People may not like what Apple’s doing, but what’s the argument? The only argument they will ever be able to make is that it makes consumers unhappy that Apple slowed down phones in specific circumstances in order to fix a shutdown problem due to aging batteries so that the device works more smoothly. That will go nowhere in the court and the law firm knows it.
    Or people will (rightly in my opinion) argue they didn’t know the battery was the source of their phone slowing down and had they known that they would have replaced the battery instead of getting a new phone. Do we know what Apple corporate communicated to Apple retail about this issue? Werr retail employees pushing battery replacements or new phones?
  • Reply 20 of 178
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,683member
    ivanh said:
    3. Not mentioned by any battery-gate article editors that all lithium-ion batteries have their own circuit processors managing the batteries.
    Correct.
    ivanh said:
    It should not be the iOS business to throttle it.
    Not correct. There is nothing that the on-battery circuitry can do with regards the internal resistance of the cells. It is inevitable that if the iPhone circuitry draws too large a peak current on an old battery with high internal impedance, its output voltage will drop excessively and cause a shutdown. The throttling is used to prevent such peak current draw.

    chia said:
    ivanh said:
    1. Capacity depleted up to 20% of design should not fail to deliver peak power required by the iPhone;

    2. Running down to 30% energy left after a full charge will still provide peak power required by any iPhone;

    These are quite specific determinations and expectations.  Any citations?

    Are they based on science, observation, experience or expert opinion; that of an electronic/electrical engineer or a cut and paster?
    +1

    StrangeDayspscooter63watto_cobra
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