Judicial panel orders consolidation of 61 iPhone throttling lawsuits, case to be heard in ...

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2018
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Wednesday ordered the consolidation of 61 lawsuits that take issue with Apple's decision to throttle the CPUs of iPhones with degraded batteries, a tactic the company claims extends the operational lifespan of its products.


Source: iFixit


Discussed during a hearing in Atlanta last week and published to the JPML website on Wednesday, the transfer order signed by panel chair Sarah Vance mandates a total of 61 similar cases involving the iPhone slowdown debacle be moved to the Northern District of California.

The order stems from an action tied to litigation lodged with the District Court for the Northern District of California. In that case, Gallmann v. Apple Inc, plaintiffs moved to relate and centralize 19 lawsuits spanning 13 different districts to either the Northern District of California or the Northern District of Illinois. According to the order, the panel was made aware of 42 similar actions in ten districts.

All 61 parties support coordination of the suits, though preferences as to where the resulting litigation would land differed. Defendant Apple, as well as 31 plaintiffs, sought to centralize proceedings in the company's home state of California, a request to which JPML agreed.

"On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we find that the actions listed on Schedule A involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in the Northern District of California will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation," Vance writes.

Explaining the decision, the panel order notes California is not only where Apple is headquartered, but is the origination point of 32 of the 61 related actions under review. Further, 30 cases in question were assigned to California District Judge Edward J. Davila, making centralization to that venue a more efficient allocation of assets.

Pending consent of the court, the lawsuits will be assigned to Davila and consolidated for pretrial proceedings, the order reads.

MacRumors reported on the earlier today.

Apple is being taken to task over potential false advertising, alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach of contract and unjust enrichment for its part in issuing an iOS tool that temporarily throttles the iPhone processors during instances of heavy load. The company released the hardware management feature in iOS 10.2.1, and all subsequent iOS versions, to mitigate negative effects of aging iPhone batteries, specifically unexpected shutdowns suffered by certain iPhone 6 and 6s devices.

Apple failed to adequately inform users about the feature and its ability to slow down performance without user consent, plaintiffs argue. Release notes accompanying the 10.2.1 release state the update "improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone."

The iPhone slowdown row began late last year when a Reddit user discovered the CPU throttling function by running impromptu benchmarking tests on their personal device. Subsequent "me too" claims dredged up speculation that Apple intentionally built the feature as part of a planned obsolescence scheme. A series of class-action lawsuits and government inquiries followed, many of which assert Apple is at fault for meddling with customer hardware after purchase.

For its part, Apple maintains the battery management function is a feature, not a nefarious plot to drive sales. Addressing the issue in front of Canada's parliament last month, Apple Canada's Manager of Legal and Government Affairs Jacqueline Famulak said theories that the iOS capability amounts to planned obsolescence are false.

"The sole purpose of the software update in this case was to help customers to continue to use older iPhones with aging batteries without shutdowns -- not to drive them to buy newer devices," Famulak said.

Apple ultimately apologized to iPhone owners in December for a lack of transparency and cut prices on out-of-warranty battery replacements. A fresh battery will not trigger the throttling action, allowing users to operate their handset at full potential.

More recently, Apple introduced a new battery health tool as part of last week's iOS 11.3 release. Officially labeled a beta feature, the tool lets users monitor battery integrity and, if necessary, manually disable CPU throttling.

iPhone Slowdown Lawsuit Transfer Order by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,169member
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.
    jason leavittjbdragonbshankchasmwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 33
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,495member
    Being forced to consolidate lawsuits should be illegal. It seems to be a violation of due process. If a person or group of people wanted to join a class-action lawsuit, they'd join a class-action lawsuit.
    airnerd
  • Reply 3 of 33
    urashidurashid Posts: 92member
    Being forced to consolidate lawsuits should be illegal. It seems to be a violation of due process. If a person or group of people wanted to join a class-action lawsuit, they'd join a class-action lawsuit.
    "All 61 parties support coordination of the suits" - Doesn't sound like it was forced.
    mwhitejbdragonbshankStrangeDaysrandominternetpersonjony0
  • Reply 4 of 33
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 763member
    Try to do something nice and people will beat you up for it. Or is it just greed? Either way IMO these suits should be dismissed with prejudice and the plaintiffs ordered to pay Apple's legal costs.
    jbdragonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 33
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,495member
    urashid said:
    Being forced to consolidate lawsuits should be illegal. It seems to be a violation of due process. If a person or group of people wanted to join a class-action lawsuit, they'd join a class-action lawsuit.
    "All 61 parties support coordination of the suits" - Doesn't sound like it was forced.
    My error. Thanks for pointing that out.
    bshankmuthuk_vanalingamurashid
  • Reply 6 of 33
    ivanhivanh Posts: 391member
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.

    My Phone 6 Plus running Geekbench 4:

    Date

    Battery Maximum Capacity

    Single Core 

    Multi-Core

    iOS version

    5 April 2018

    97%, 1 year old battery

    1544

    2616

    11.3

    7 Jan 2018

    8 months old battery

    975

    1623

    11.2.1

    end April 2017

    iPhone replaced




    14 April 2017

    8 months old battery

    914

    1747

    10.3.1

    Early August 2015

    new iPhone




     

    The tests on 7 Jan 2018 and 14 April 2017 were done immediately after restarting the iPhone, at ambient temperature about 20ºC - 25ºC, after annoying and embarrassing moments that the iPhone took at least 6 times longer to respond to take a photo with the native camera button while no other apps were stayed in the background.


    Please explain the throttling on 7 Jan 2018.


    airnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,102member
    ivanh said:
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.

    My Phone 6 Plus running Geekbench 4:

    Date

    Battery Maximum Capacity

    Single Core 

    Multi-Core

    iOS version

    5 April 2018

    97%, 1 year old battery

    1544

    2616

    11.3

    7 Jan 2018

    8 months old battery

    975

    1623

    11.2.1

    end April 2017

    iPhone replaced




    14 April 2017

    8 months old battery

    914

    1747

    10.3.1

    Early August 2015

    new iPhone




     

    The tests on 7 Jan 2018 and 14 April 2017 were done immediately after restarting the iPhone, at ambient temperature about 20ºC - 25ºC, after annoying and embarrassing moments that the iPhone took at least 6 times longer to respond to take a photo with the native camera button while no other apps were stayed in the background.


    Please explain the throttling on 7 Jan 2018.


    Your dates and age make no sense. August 2015 to April 2017 is ~20 months. Did you replace battery in August 2016? Your Geekbench scores can also be because of software changes. The problem you had with taking pictures could have been caused by multiple problems, plus you got a new phone in 2017. Too many variables.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 8 of 33
    ivanhivanh Posts: 391member
    rob53 said:
    ivanh said:
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.

    My Phone 6 Plus running Geekbench 4:

    Date

    Battery Maximum Capacity

    Single Core 

    Multi-Core

    iOS version

    5 April 2018

    97%, 1 year old battery

    1544

    2616

    11.3

    7 Jan 2018

    8 months old battery

    975

    1623

    11.2.1

    end April 2017

    iPhone replaced




    14 April 2017

    8 months old battery

    914

    1747

    10.3.1

    Early August 2015

    new iPhone




     

    The tests on 7 Jan 2018 and 14 April 2017 were done immediately after restarting the iPhone, at ambient temperature about 20ºC - 25ºC, after annoying and embarrassing moments that the iPhone took at least 6 times longer to respond to take a photo with the native camera button while no other apps were stayed in the background.


    Please explain the throttling on 7 Jan 2018.


    Your dates and age make no sense. August 2015 to April 2017 is ~20 months. Did you replace battery in August 2016? Your Geekbench scores can also be because of software changes. The problem you had with taking pictures could have been caused by multiple problems, plus you got a new phone in 2017. Too many variables.
    Correct. it's 20 months old between Aug 2015 - April 2017. Thank you.  What multiple problems can you think of?  Geekbench 4 is still Geekbench 4, with some bugs fixed only. Algorithms haven't been changed, otherwise benchmarks make no sense.  I have eliminated all other factors (your mentioned "variables").  Please state specific examples.
    airnerd
  • Reply 9 of 33
    rain22rain22 Posts: 47member
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.
    Fools who believe in ‘secretive features’ that Apple denied until they were exposed...
    Pretty sure the judge will understand.
    bshankmuthuk_vanalingamairnerd78Banditwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 33
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,190member
    rain22 said:
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.
    Fools who believe in ‘secretive features’ that Apple denied until they were exposed...
    Pretty sure the judge will understand.

    Horse-shit. Fools have been claiming that Apple intentionally slowed down their devices maliciously so that people would buy new ones much, much before these throttling features were ever implemented in software. They were full of shit then, and they still are now. Their narrative is still utterly baseless. The throttling has nothing to do with Apple crippling their own products so you run out and buy new ones, its for a very specific technical reason caused by the realities of battery limitations, in order to give users a better experience (compared to the battery shutting down). The people now claiming "I KNEW IT" after they've been claiming since the 1st iPhone (as well as products without batteries like iMacs, etc) that Apple "slows down" products through software are still fools and morons. 
    StrangeDayschasmDAalsethwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 33
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,185member
    Running a so called CPU SPEED TEST is doing exactly what Apple is trying to STOP. So you're going to see a big slowdown. The test is trying to mac out the CPU speed, while Apple is trying to put a clamp on that so the phone doesn't crash.

    You're phone normally doesn't run like that. If it did, your battery wouldn't last very long. The CPU hits it's peeks for a brief period and than go back down. Apple is knocking down those highs so that the phone will run as normal and not crash. In effect allowing you to hold onto your phone longer without having to do anything.

    What Apple did was just normal battery management. Personally I think the only thing Apple did wrong was making not having a large enough battery buffer, where as it ages and the peek power starts to drop off, it doesn't quite have enough power for what the CPU wants at that point. I think Apple could have done a little better in that area.

    My iphone 6 shows 100%. It runs much faster than the iPhone 4 it replaced in it's 4th year. That iPhone 4 in my 4th year was so ssllloowwwww. it got slower with every iOS update and that last one for it's 4th year slowed it way down.

    Some people wonder why the iPhone needs to be so fast. Isn't it fast enough? This is one of the reasons why it isn't. The OS grows and requires more speed. This is nothing new for a OS. Of course one of the effects of this, is trying to keep up the speed, is the CPU working harder, draining the battery a little faster also then when it was new with a older iOS on it.

    So there are a number of factors. Canada seemed to have gotten it right. Time will tell if the U.S. also gets things right. So many think Apple does things to be Negative, when in reality they had good intentions.

    edited April 2018 StrangeDaysrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 33
    seankillseankill Posts: 492member
    slurpy said:
    rain22 said:
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.
    Fools who believe in ‘secretive features’ that Apple denied until they were exposed...
    Pretty sure the judge will understand.

    Horse-shit. Fools have been claiming that Apple intentionally slowed down their devices maliciously so that people would buy new ones much, much before these throttling features were ever implemented in software. They were full of shit then, and they still are now. Their narrative is still utterly baseless. The throttling has nothing to do with Apple crippling their own products so you run out and buy new ones, its for a very specific technical reason caused by the realities of battery limitations, in order to give users a better experience (compared to the battery shutting down). The people now claiming "I KNEW IT" after they've been claiming since the 1st iPhone (as well as products without batteries like iMacs, etc) that Apple "slows down" products through software are still fools and morons. 


    I for one want to see Apple eat this one. They shouldn't be limiting the components of the phone without notifying the user first. It should be clear (as well as your staff understand) what the product is doing. I used a jetski one time, I was aware it had a limp home mode, I never had to use it but you can be damn sure that computer was going to tell me it was in that mode (beyond it obviously operating at a low RPM). Surely a 2015 iPhone can make it clear if a 2002 jetski could. Everyone understands batteries decay but that doesnt change anything.
    atomic101muthuk_vanalingamairnerd78Bandit
  • Reply 13 of 33
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,029member
    So let's say you take your car in for a service. After getting it back it doesn't seem as peppy as usual. You complain to the Dealership whereapon they inform you "Yeah we reflashed your ECU to reduce horsepower. It'll make your engine last longer".
    How many of us would be happy with that?
    atomic101muthuk_vanalingamairnerd78Bandit
  • Reply 14 of 33
    seankill said:
    slurpy said:
    rain22 said:
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.
    Fools who believe in ‘secretive features’ that Apple denied until they were exposed...
    Pretty sure the judge will understand.

    Horse-shit. Fools have been claiming that Apple intentionally slowed down their devices maliciously so that people would buy new ones much, much before these throttling features were ever implemented in software. They were full of shit then, and they still are now. Their narrative is still utterly baseless. The throttling has nothing to do with Apple crippling their own products so you run out and buy new ones, its for a very specific technical reason caused by the realities of battery limitations, in order to give users a better experience (compared to the battery shutting down). The people now claiming "I KNEW IT" after they've been claiming since the 1st iPhone (as well as products without batteries like iMacs, etc) that Apple "slows down" products through software are still fools and morons. 


    I for one want to see Apple eat this one. They shouldn't be limiting the components of the phone without notifying the user first. It should be clear (as well as your staff understand) what the product is doing. I used a jetski one time, I was aware it had a limp home mode, I never had to use it but you can be damn sure that computer was going to tell me it was in that mode (beyond it obviously operating at a low RPM). Surely a 2015 iPhone can make it clear if a 2002 jetski could. Everyone understands batteries decay but that doesnt change anything.
    My point exactly.  Why was this significant "feature" to "better my experience" kept so clandestine? You already have a Battery Saver mode that notifies the user that it has been activated, for Pete's sake! Why would you not afford the same courtesy (notification) to a throttling situation? Ignorance? Arrogance? Stupidity?

    I was the recipient of this grandiose feature and had to fight to pay Apple to change my battery.  Thank the stars that Apple got called to the table so that the tech would finally do me the favor a few weeks later. 

    I know that batteries wear out. What I didn't expect was that it would happen only a year into my phone purchase, and that Apple would keep it a secret to me.  I now have a very bad taste in my mouth from the experience.  Ten years of trust shattered in mere moments. 
    muthuk_vanalingamairnerd78Bandit
  • Reply 15 of 33
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,782member
    rain22 said:
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.
    Fools who believe in ‘secretive features’ that Apple denied until they were exposed...
    Pretty sure the judge will understand.
    Revisionist history nonsense. Preventing a depleted battery phone from shutting down in the middle of a task isn’t the same as intentionally gimping still healthy phones with each new version of iOS in order to spur nefarious sales. 

    Your reasoning abilities leave much to be desired. 
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 33
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,782member

    atomic101 said:
    seankill said:
    slurpy said:
    rain22 said:
    Fools do not understand how batteries work.
    I hope the judges understand.
    Fools who believe in ‘secretive features’ that Apple denied until they were exposed...
    Pretty sure the judge will understand.

    Horse-shit. Fools have been claiming that Apple intentionally slowed down their devices maliciously so that people would buy new ones much, much before these throttling features were ever implemented in software. They were full of shit then, and they still are now. Their narrative is still utterly baseless. The throttling has nothing to do with Apple crippling their own products so you run out and buy new ones, its for a very specific technical reason caused by the realities of battery limitations, in order to give users a better experience (compared to the battery shutting down). The people now claiming "I KNEW IT" after they've been claiming since the 1st iPhone (as well as products without batteries like iMacs, etc) that Apple "slows down" products through software are still fools and morons. 


    I for one want to see Apple eat this one. They shouldn't be limiting the components of the phone without notifying the user first. It should be clear (as well as your staff understand) what the product is doing. I used a jetski one time, I was aware it had a limp home mode, I never had to use it but you can be damn sure that computer was going to tell me it was in that mode (beyond it obviously operating at a low RPM). Surely a 2015 iPhone can make it clear if a 2002 jetski could. Everyone understands batteries decay but that doesnt change anything.
    My point exactly.  Why was this significant "feature" to "better my experience" kept so clandestine? You already have a Battery Saver mode that notifies the user that it has been activated, for Pete's sake! Why would you not afford the same courtesy (notification) to a throttling situation? Ignorance? Arrogance? Stupidity?

    I was the recipient of this grandiose feature and had to fight to pay Apple to change my battery.  Thank the stars that Apple got called to the table so that the tech would finally do me the favor a few weeks later. 

    I know that batteries wear out. What I didn't expect was that it would happen only a year into my phone purchase, and that Apple would keep it a secret to me.  I now have a very bad taste in my mouth from the experience.  Ten years of trust shattered in mere moments. 
    You also previously claimed it was introduced in iOS 11 despite the fact that it was introduced in 10.2.1, so your claims on objective truth are flimsy. There are a lot of unknowns so none of us here will know your truth. 

    And the battery section in settings had existing warning messages when a battery was failing. 

    It just blows my mind that people accept weak car batteries stalling in winter but lose their goddam minds when it’s their cell phone.
    macxpresswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 33
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,147member
    I think it’s going to be difficult to prove damages beyond a benchmark.  

    What dis your phone fail to do?  Can you prove the slowdown prevented you from doing something and that it caused harm?  Can you prove the slowdown actually harmed you and that it actually happened?   Of your phone would have shut down instead of slowing down, would that have harmed you more or less?  

    Were you you going to buy a new phone anyway or did the slowdowns force you to because you were being harmed by the slowdown?

    In the end, the lawyers win and everyone else will get $5 or a free battery or some other token award.  

    Apple should have been more up front.  Even if they were, I think the end result would have been the same.  
    DAalsethrandominternetperson
  • Reply 18 of 33
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 671member
    DAalseth said:
    Try to do something nice and people will beat you up for it. Or is it just greed? Either way IMO these suits should be dismissed with prejudice and the plaintiffs ordered to pay Apple's legal costs.
    I commend them for their actions.  I despise them for their lack of transparency.  When people first started to notice the apparent slowing down then Apple could have said "sure, we told you about it".  Instead they said nothing and let whispers of "you are just crazy" permeate.  When faced with hard data they finally issued a very cold admission, not the Apple way at all.  Tim didn't address it personally for quite a while.  

    Apple should know by now they are a victim of their own success.  They are held to a higher standard, and rightly so.  I think this lawsuit is garbage and will do nothing but make some lawyers some money and a name for themselves.  IMO this battery case should be taught in business classes on what not to do.  A well respected company does something to try to be helpful but they aren't forthcoming with their intentions.  When caught they deny until they can no longer deny anymore, then they take too long to get in front of it.  So their intentions were good, their execution was lacking.  
  • Reply 19 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,452member
    Getting closer to that $5 iTunes gift card every day. Can’t wait!
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 20 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,452member
    I’d love to see a poll of how many users are turning off the battery management feature so their iPhones can just shut down in the middle of a 911 call. I also have read a couple of opinion pieces lately that postulate another nefarious motive in Apple’s new feature, namely that people will start needlessly replacing batteries (to Apple’s profit) when the efficiency rating falls below 100%. A lot of people these days are obsessive about stuff like that. So it’s another case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t brewing.
    watto_cobra
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