Lawsuit claims Apple's iOS updates in 2016 forced customers to buy new iPhone chargers

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 5
A new attempted class action lawsuit claims Apple is forcing owners of iOS devices to repeatedly buy new chargers by updating the iPhones with new requirements, after a user found her old charger suddenly stopped functioning properly with her iPhone.




Filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on Monday, the lawsuit identifies Monica Emerson as the main plaintiff, with the suit filed "on behalf of all other members of the public similarly situated."

According to the lawsuit, thousands of iPhone owners in the United States and other countries started to experience issues with their older iPhones around November 2016, with claims the devices stopped recognizing and accepting their chargers. The filing notes the chargers were also produced by Apple, not a third-party company, and that they were functioning normally before September 13, 2016.

In the plaintiff's specific case, they noted an update in October 2017 for iOS, and that later on the iPhone displayed the message "this accessory may not be supported" when attempting to charge. According to the suit, this phrase meant "requiring that people buy a new charger."

It is alleged Apple "forced updates to the iPhones which were specifically designed and programmed to reject" old iPhone chargers. Apple is said to have done this "in an effort to dominate the cellular telephone marketplace," with a goal of pushing customers to buy either new iPhones or new chargers.

Apple reportedly did not inform the plaintiff of the plan to "program a rejection of old iPhone chargers," nor advised at the time of buying their iPhones that there would be a point where chargers could be rejected due to an update. The user also reportedly did not consent to the update being installed and preventing the charger from working again.

Demanding a jury trial, the suit wants class action status, for Apple to notify class members of its "unlawful and deceptive conduct," engage in corrective advertising, actual and punitive damages, any and all statutory enhanced damages, attorneys' fees, interest, and any other available relief.

At a glance, it seems like the case of Apple issuing an update that effectively blocks older devices from working would be a lot more prominent and well-known, affecting millions rather than the "thousands" mentioned in the suit. If Apple did perform such activity, there would have been an earlier lawsuit and mountains of evidence from many users affected in the same way, but searches for such events proved unfruitful.

Apple's own support advises if you see the "Accessory may not be supported" alert, it could be due to a number of different reasons, including if the accessory is defective or damaged, isn't Apple certified, isn't supported by the device, or the iOS device's connector is damaged or dirty. It is also entirely possible that users need to update to a newer version of iOS for certain types of accessories.

While claiming Apple is purposefully blocking access to older charges doesn't have merit at face value, there are some software issues that have caused similar things, but certainly without the intention described in the suit.

In September 2018, multiple reports from users noted issues charging their iPhones after updating to iOS 12, with a bug intermittently failing to engage charging after an iPhone or iPad was connected up to a wall charger or a Qi charging pad. Apple acknowledged the issue, and fixed the problem in its iOS 12.1 update.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Does anyone remember this happening?  Seems like it should been a big deal at the time.  I'm thinking this won't result in a settlement of any kind.
    mwhitejbdragonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 33
    It is alleged Apple "forced updates to the iPhones which were specifically designed and programmed to reject" old iPhone chargers. Apple is said to have done this "in an effort to dominate the cellular telephone marketplace,"

    ...ah, the Big Charger conspiracy, by which a brand seeks market dominance by breaking their own product. Because faulty devices would inspire repeat purchasing, right?
    jbishop1039chiamagman1979doctwelverandominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingamn2itivguywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Does anyone remember this happening?  Seems like it should been a big deal at the time.  I'm thinking this won't result in a settlement of any kind.
    This error happens when my charging cable gets old and abused; I've had it happen several times, but I've never considered it a problem with the phone.  I often buy a spare cable at the same time I buy my phone, simply because I know I'll need one in the car, or at the office or whatever, and they wear out over time.  Mostly the second one isn't used nearly as often, so it doesn't get twisted or bent or crushed or whatever, and keeps on working long after the one that came in the box is defunct.

    While I certainly would like a charging cord is more durable than the current one, I can hardly fault Apple for my usage proclivities.

    In short, I think this is a bogus cash grab. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    Nonsense. I still use old chargers for my iPhone 8. My mom uses her original charger for her 6. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 650member
    Where do these people fucking come from?
    mwhitejbdragonberndogchiamagman1979doctwelveolsStrangeDaysrandominternetpersonlarryjw
  • Reply 6 of 33
    lewklewk Posts: 14member
    I have two of the iPod/iPhone docks that use the old style, wide plug - one with audio out and one with audio and S-Video out. I use them to hold some older iPhones, a 3GS and a 4, and keep them charged while they are hooked up to a stereo in the bedroom and one in the basement. I get the same error message but all you have to do is look at the phone to see that while it says it can't charge, it actually is charging just fine. So evidently some folks would rather believe the error message than the icon showing it's charging and the fact that it really is charging! I guess they'd rather keep ambulance chasing lawyers busy and try grabbing some money from someone with deep pockets.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    jungmark said:
    Nonsense. I still use old chargers for my iPhone 8. My mom uses her original charger for her 6. 
    This only happens when the cords get old or is a cheap 3rd party that is possibly not wired to standards. This creates the notifications. I have had this to happen a few times over the years but not even every time I used that cable. Eventually it just stopped charging at all. Swap the cable and bam. It worked. 
    magman1979JFC_PAwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 33
    People are becoming more susceptible to conspiracy theories these days to explain everyday things that they don't understand.

    This is a case of that. Evil Apple are out to get me.

    Several posters here have explained the problem: worn out cables.
    chiamagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 33
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,453member
    Does anyone remember this happening?  Seems like it should been a big deal at the time.  I'm thinking this won't result in a settlement of any kind.
    This error happens when my charging cable gets old and abused; I've had it happen several times, but I've never considered it a problem with the phone.  I often buy a spare cable at the same time I buy my phone, simply because I know I'll need one in the car, or at the office or whatever, and they wear out over time.  Mostly the second one isn't used nearly as often, so it doesn't get twisted or bent or crushed or whatever, and keeps on working long after the one that came in the box is defunct.

    While I certainly would like a charging cord is more durable than the current one, I can hardly fault Apple for my usage proclivities.

    In short, I think this is a bogus cash grab. 
    I do not remember any of this happening so their claim it affected 1000's of people is a little dubious. I have so many apple chargers laying around my house from all generations of phones and Ipads and guess what they all still work. As it was stated, if this was that serious of a problem it would have been all over the place and we would have chargergate.

    After reading and re-reading their claim over and over again I think I figure out what real problem is verse their perception of the problem. They clearly stated it was happing on Apple changers and they are not talking about third party chargers. They never specifically said anything about the cables. I suspect they were using third party cables and possible old and beat up Apple cables. 

    I have personally seen this issue where a third party cable works for a period of time, become intermittent giving the error "the accessory is not supported." Yeah you would think it was the charger when in fact the accessory Apple is talking about is the cable. I also seen where you get this error, but the phone still charges but will not pass data and sometime it is completely dead and does not charge. I can see where people would think it is the charger since I also seen moving the cable from an iPhone wall adapter to an Ipad adapter (higher power) allows the phone to charge, If you have no clue how to isolate a problem like this you would not realize the only thing in common is the cable which is no longer a dumb piece of wire but has some smarts in it.

    The 1000's of people affected they are talking about are those who lack critical problem solving skills
    and should be order to go back to school and learn to problem solve. I suspect there will be some lawyers with egg on their face.
    chiarandominternetpersonradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 33
    We have an iPhone SE and 6. We also have an iPad Air, Air 2, and Pro. All are on the latest iOS. All still work off of their original chargers.

     randominternetperson said:
    Does anyone remember this happening?  Seems like it should been a big deal at the time.  I'm thinking this won't result in a settlement of any kind.
    Pretty much. This is a bogus suit, about a non problem, that impacted no one. If there were a case for Loser Pays Legal Costs this would be a good one to start with.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 33
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,453member
    mac_dog said:
    Where do these people fucking come from?

    You should be worried about when you have to come in contact with these people, 

    You know those customer support people you call and cannot help you with your problems. Everyone always worries about high unemployment, I tend to worry about these people working and having to deal with them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 33
    ThrashmanThrashman Posts: 13unconfirmed, member
    Does anyone know how many lawsuits apple is currently battling?
    it just never ends. I
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 33
    I find it hilarious how people want to start a lawsuit two years after the said incident occurred. Seems to me like someone just wants a check from a large company. Guess we will see where this goes. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 33
    I have found that non Apple certified chargers sometimes don’t work and I blame myself for that..... also occasionally when I get the warning referenced in the article I clean the connector and the hole..... again my fault.
    people are so helpless these days!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 33
    What a stupid lawsuit.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,110member
    This is all I have to say...

    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Whoever decided to have the iPhone tell the user that an accessory is not supported when it could be that the contacts are dirty is an idiot. Rule 1 of error messages: Give the user information they can use. It does no good to give them some generic message or meaningless error code. Tell them what they need to do to solve the problem. Show them a picture of how to clean the contacts or suggest contacting Apple for support. Anything is better than punting with a message telling the user that their accessory that has been working fine to that point is not compatible.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Whoever decided to have the iPhone tell the user that an accessory is not supported when it could be that the contacts are dirty is an idiot. Rule 1 of error messages: Give the user information they can use. It does no good to give them some generic message or meaningless error code. Tell them what they need to do to solve the problem. Show them a picture of how to clean the contacts or suggest contacting Apple for support. Anything is better than punting with a message telling the user that their accessory that has been working fine to that point is not compatible.
    Yes probably right. Something about not being able to verify the charging device, please check the cable and connectors, etc, would be more accurate.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 33
    jungmark said:
    Nonsense. I still use old chargers for my iPhone 8. My mom uses her original charger for her 6. 
    Ditoa. Nonsense. When it comes to cables I still look for MFi certified. I know people who have saved a few $ and have had cable issues.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 33
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,428member
    The only instances I can remember this happening is mainly with my car and my mom's car.  We both own Ford Edges... Occasionally, we get that message.   It's very rare on my car, but when I mom bought her car a year later we couldn't plug in her phone without replacing some random Apple-supplied iPhone cable.  Switched it to another one and it worked fine ever since.  We threw that older cable away.  Case closed.
    watto_cobra
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