UPDATE: December 28, 2017 9:30 a.m. ET] Apple has posted a formal apology to its customers via its official website citing a “misunderstanding” about the battery life of older iPhone models. As well as providing information about why rechargeable batteries become less effective over time, the tech giant has made it explicitly clear that Apple would “never do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”
To further address the issue, and hopefully stave off any more trillion dollar lawsuits, the cost of replacement batteries will be reduced from $79 to $29, beginning in late January 2018.
Following allegations that Apple was “slowing down” older phones, the company now faces eight class action suits, one of which asks for almost $1 trillion in damages.
As Patently Apple reports, the $999 billion lawsuit was filed by one Violetta Mailyan in California, stating that “each member of the Class had to buy a newer iPhone model because the performance of their older iPhone model had slowed down as a result of [the] Defendant’s purposeful conduct.”
Mailyan’s suit goes on to claim that, had Apple disclosed that it slowed down iPhones, Class members could have obtained new batteries rather than replace their devices. Other plaintiffs reiterate that the “throttle” defect forced them into upgrading their handsets.
Meanwhile, Reuters states that the lawsuits have been filed in California, New York, and Illinois, while the newspaper Haaretz reported a similar case was lodged in an Israeli court on Monday.
Apple has yet to comment on the filings but insisted last week that it did not “slow down” older phones. The company said that iOS updates released in 2016 for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 arrived with a tweak which would “smooth out” the power supply from batteries that are cold, old or low on charge.
Despite the quixotic figure, Apple will need to put up a defense in court. Chris Hoofnagle, faculty director for the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, told Reuters that he believes the company may not have done anything wrong. “We still haven’t come to consumer protection norms around aging products,” Hoofnagle wrote. Citing a phone with a security flaw as an example, he continued, “the ethical approach could include degrading or even disabling functionality.”
Stay posted for further information.
In other Cupertino news, new AirPods are coming in the new year.