Dozens of iPhone battery throttling lawsuits could get merged in Thursday conference

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in iPhone
A colossal 59 separate lawsuits against Apple for throttling iPhones with weak batteries could be merged into one class-action case at a March 29 meeting in Atlanta.




A lead attorney and court location should also be selected at the time, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday. The existing cases have some five dozen plaintiffs.

A combined lawsuit is expected to demand unspecified damages, legal fees, and free battery replacements, as well as a marketing campaign addressing Apple's alleged deception in the matter. That concern has led to probes in Canada, China, France, and Italy, as well as domestic investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the heart of the matter are changes Apple made starting with 2016's iOS 10.2.1, intended to prevent sudden shutdowns caused by deteoriating batteries. The company initially targeted the iPhone 6, 6s, and SE, but extended this policy to the iPhone 7 in iOS 11.2, and said it would continue the approach with other hardware.

Responding to anecdotes, Apple admitted to throttling iPhones last December, causing a backlash among people upset that their iPhones seemed to be getting slower -- but at the same time apps and iOS were becoming more demanding. At least some legal actions have accused Apple of planned obsolescence by intentionally slowing phones, believing that the company was intentionally prodding people to buy a new iPhone.

Apple has denied this, but simultaneously cut the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacements from $79 to $29 through the end of the year. An imminent iOS 11.3 update will include new battery management features, letting people gauge the health of their batteries and optionally disable throttling. The latter will still kick in under more extreme circumstances, such as hot or freezing temperatures.

iOS 10.2.1 included release notes saying that the update "improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone," but Apple CEO Tim Cook later acknowledged that the company could've been clearer on the subject.

A phone with a replaced battery benchmarks the same as it did the day it was new.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 548member
    To me the rubber will meet the road when lawyers start showing what Apple knew and when.  If I remember correctly it wasn't until someone with the means to actually perform a test and provide irrefutable data that Apple stepped forward with a mea culpa. IMO that is easily painted as "we knew better, just didn't say anything" which is very simple to twist into Apple was up to something shady.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 770member
    Of course it will depend on how tech-stupid the judge is, but these suits will probably go nowhere. Apple didn’t issue a “mea culpa” because they did nothing wrong (other than assuming people would understand that temporary slowdowns to help degraded batteries last longer was a better option that just crashing, like **every Android** with a degraded battery does). That new switch in 11.3 ought to be labeled the “you are a moron” switch, because that is its purpose.

    Now a class-action lawsuit against Google and its Android parters for NOT preemptively solving this known issue with batteries and smartphones the way Apple did ... where’s that class-action suit?
    edited March 28 brometheuswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 9
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,825member
    Why should Apple had said anything? What Apple did was normal Battery Management. Some could take it as Apple trying to get people to upgrade. While others like myself take it as Apple allowing you to use your phone longer with a weakening battery. If you phone is a few years old and apps are crashing, what do you do? BUY A NEW PHONE!!! In this case, Apple slowing the phone down only at peek demands where it's putting a extra load on the battery and causing crashing. Phone now works good, a bit slower at times, but it works with the newest OS. It's no longer crashing, and you are not forced to go buy a battery.

    Do you know what running a Speed Test does? The 1 thing Apple is trying to STOP!!! That is running the CPU at MAX speed, creating the biggest draw. Of course you're going to see a big slowdown result. The simple fact of the mater is, you're phone doesn't normally run like that. If it did, it would be like playing a graphic intense game non-stop. Even a new battery doesn't last very long What Apple is doing is stopping the big CPU/power spikes. This in turn keeps the phone running. You can hold onto your phone longer and just use it even when the battery is taking a slow dump.

    The end result is you holding onto your phone LONGER. Why so many are NEGATIVE and just jump to that without even understand what's happening. I'm into my 4th year with my iPhone 6 which replaced my iPhone 4 that I had for over 4 years. The iPhone 6 runs much better than my iPhone 4 did into it's 4th year. That's a FACT!!!

    ALL battery's as they age get weaker, and less and less life. It's just how they have always been. If there's really anything Negative here, is maybe Apple not giving the battery enough of a buffer. A smaller margin to start having issues. If the battery had just a little more more power than required for a little larger buffer, the battery's would hold up a little longer without the phone crashing.

    I did bring my iPhone 6 to Apple to get it checked. It's still at 100% life. My Battery life seemed shorter, come to find out it was a app running in the background all the time sucking up a good chunk of the battery. I put a stop to that is it's help!!!

    But like MANY, I'm all for a larger battery. Just for overall being able to use the phone longer, especially doing things that suck up the battery like youtube, or Games. Anything using the GPS, big drain.

    This whole thing is just way overblown.
    edited March 28
  • Reply 4 of 9
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,189member
    tim cook admitted that they could have been clearer and he still hasn't been clear. he says that the software only kicks in when the battery is old but what does that mean. 80% of the capacity is left, 60%, 30%. they should have told this to folks. then given folks an easy way to run the tests to see what level Apple's software says the battery is. if it's over that level then any slow downs are't the power features. it's shitty cell reception, your time warner wifi being crap etc. 
  • Reply 5 of 9
    appleinsider said:
    iOS 10.2.1 included release notes saying that the update "improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone," but Apple CEO Tim Cook later acknowledged that the company could've been clearer on the subject.. 
    You always seem to quote this as fact when it is false...

    The 10.2.1 update was issued in January, the note about power management was only added in February, AFTER throttling complaints started appearing online.

    Apple's response at the time:
    "After gathering and analyzing data, we issued the iOS 10.2.1 software update in January 2017 for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE.

    Then we looked at the diagnostic data made available by the update, and it indicated that the rate of unexpected shutdowns was greatly reduced for iPhone 6 and 6s owners.

    In February 2017, we updated our iOS 10.2.1 Read Me notes to let customers know the update ‘improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns.’ We also provided a statement to several press outlets and said that we were seeing positive results from the software update."

  • Reply 6 of 9
    A lot of mud slinging and deameaning commentary here. Some forum members think that the user is the problem (or “morons” at the very least). Apple failed the communication piece. Letting the consumer know what is happening with their device is not a foreign concept. The perception of Apple’s intent (to not provide a notification of degraded performance) is in the eye of the beholder.
    Habi_tweet
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    atomic101 said:
    A lot of mud slinging and deameaning commentary here. Some forum members think that the user is the problem (or “morons” at the very least). Apple failed the communication piece. Letting the consumer know what is happening with their device is not a foreign concept. The perception of Apple’s intent (to not provide a notification of degraded performance) is in the eye of the beholder.
    Apple failed in transparency, at least twice, yes.

    The consumer isn't blameless. They contributed by failing in assuming a chemical process like a battery is eternal, and will last forever without maintenance.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator

    tim cook admitted that they could have been clearer and he still hasn't been clear. he says that the software only kicks in when the battery is old but what does that mean. 80% of the capacity is left, 60%, 30%. they should have told this to folks. then given folks an easy way to run the tests to see what level Apple's software says the battery is. if it's over that level then any slow downs are't the power features. it's shitty cell reception, your time warner wifi being crap etc. 
    It's not directly related to this mythical "capacity." It's related to output voltage, which can only be very roughly related to "capacity." Batteries are a complex chemical and physical process.
    edited March 29
  • Reply 9 of 9
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,180member
    chasm said:
    ...Apple... did nothing wrong... temporary slowdowns to help degraded batteries [keep running longer is]... a better option [than] just crashing... 


    I think this is the higher quality we expect from Apple devices although the warning that is supposed to be in 11.3 would've been a nice thing to add it is this kind of thinking 'out of the box' that is just one of the many things keeps Apple customers with Apple -- no nefarious conspiracy here IMHO!
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