Consumer Group Sues Apple in Belgium and Spain Over iPhone Throttling

An EU consumer advocacy group has filed class-action lawsuits against Apple in both Belgium and Spain for "unfair and misleading commercial practices" related to the iPhone performance management system it introduced in iOS 10.2.1 without informing customers.

iphone 6s battery
Brought by Euroconsumers, which describes itself as the "world's leading consumer cluster organization," the suits allege that the system introduced via iOS update in order to preserve battery life amount to "planned obsolescence."

In a press release on Wednesday, the group stated:

The lawsuits cover owners of ‌iPhone‌ 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus and alleges Apple engaged in unfair and misleading commercial practices. The lawsuits ask for compensation of on average at least 60 euro for each affected consumer in Belgium and Spain.

Apple introduced power management features for older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns during times of peak power draw on devices with degraded batteries.

These power management features throttle the processor on older iPhones with less than optimal batteries, resulting in slower performance. Though introduced early in 2017, the power management features were not widely publicized until late 2017, leading many customers to feel deceived by Apple.

Apple apologized for not better explaining how battery health could impact performance and has since implemented a policy offering no-questions-asked $29 battery replacements for the ‌iPhone‌ 6 and later.

Earlier this year, the company also agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit in the United States that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older ‌iPhone‌ models.

Euroconsumers references the latter settlement along with more recent state-level U.S. settlements in its press release, and says it has two identical suits planned for Italy and Portugal. Together, the four complaints seek about 180 million euros in damages from Apple, according to the Financial Times.

"Consumers are increasingly upset by products wearing out too quickly, the ‌iPhone‌ 6 models being a very concrete example of that," said Els Bruggeman, head of Policy and Enforcement at Euroconsumers. "Not only does it cause frustration and financial harm, from an environmental point of view it is also utterly irresponsible. Consumers want to be treated with respect, demand fair compensation and more sustainable phones. Euroconsumers is sending a clear message to Apple that planned obsolescence can no longer be accepted."

Top Rated Comments

2979382 Avatar
20 weeks ago
Jaaaayzus, how long are they gonna keep whining about this? Products wearing out too quickly? My 6S was in perfect condition with a full day's battery life after over 3 years when I sold it, my XS still delivers the same 2 days' worth of battery-life after 2 years, and I sold my 7 year old MacBook Pro for 500 quid in fully working condition. Maybe they should have a look at other brands, cause from where I'm standing Apple still builds stuff that lasts longer than many other companies.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
20 weeks ago

It is because Apple did not explain to iphone owners what they were doing so when the update was implemented and iphone owners saw the phone had battery issues, it would prompt one of two things happening, getting a new battery or getting a new phone. Getting a new phone is what 'planned obsolescence' is all about, in that by introducing the power management feature, Apple 'planned' for owners of older iphones to ditch their old iphones due to battery issue an purchase a new one.
no. a phone that randomly shuts down would cause the user to buy a new phone.

a phone where the OS updates stops after three years instead of 5-6 causes the user to buy a new phone

there are many other ways Apple can encourage the user to buy a new phone but for some reason, people like you attribute fixing a shutdown issue to prolong the life of the device as planned obsolescence. makes absolutely no sense.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unsupported Avatar
20 weeks ago
How does an update to preserve battery life amount to "planned obsolescence"?

Preserving battery life would seem to me to be quite the opposite. ?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
20 weeks ago
here we go again.

idiotic.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SmOgER Avatar
20 weeks ago
That's BS. Take android from the same era and it will be more or less unusable.
Now iPhone 6S can still run pretty much all AppStore apps and it's not lagging at all, gets the job done for every task. What more could you ask?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Smigit Avatar
20 weeks ago

And if your phone shuts off unexpectedly... you'd also believe you needed a new one when you only needed a new battery.

Either throttling or dying... neither is a good outcome.
No it’s not a good outcome.

A good outcome is Apples engineers documenting the behaviour and having support staff trained so that when a customer walks into a store, instead of being told to buy a new device, wasting time on a factory reset (again!) or blaming third party apps/devs, support could instead provide appropriate advice and sell the user a battery replacement instead of a new handset. At the very least users can make an informed decision. That’s basically where we have landed and no ones fussed about how it’s now handled.

The lawsuits aren’t because of the behaviour of the device being inappropriate, they’re over Apples lack of transparency and the repercussions that had for paying customers seeking support.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
14

Apple Says iOS 14.5 Will Be Released 'Next Week'

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Apple today in a press release about its new AirTag item tracker announced that iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be available starting "next week." iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are packed with new features, including the ability for iPhone users who are wearing an Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will also be the minimum software versions...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
Ports 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1 copy

Stolen MacBook Pro Schematics Confirm Apple's Plans to Add More Ports and Remove Touch Bar

Wednesday April 21, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
Schematics stolen from Apple supplier Quanta Computer outline Apple's plans for the next-generation MacBook Pro models that are expected in 2021, and clearly confirm plans for additional ports and a return to MagSafe. MacRumors saw the schematics after they were leaked online, and some of them feature the logic board of the next-generation MacBook Pro. On the right side of the machine,...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
maxresdefault

Apple Event 2021: Everything Apple Announced at Its 'Spring Loaded' Event in Just 6 Minutes

Tuesday April 20, 2021 4:23 pm PDT by
Apple today held its first event of 2021, and it was one of the most exciting events that we've seen in some time. Apple announced a whole slew of new products, including an M1 iMac, an M1 iPad Pro, a refreshed 4K Apple TV, and the long-awaited AirTags. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce all of the new devices during its virtual...