Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices.

iphone 6 in hand

The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it "deliberately manipulated, and without informing its users, the performance of its most popular devices... in doing so, it forced thousands of users to replace the battery of their devices or buy a new smartphone, to their expectations."

In particular, the agency references the ‌iPhone‌ 6, 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus, but says any Portuguese consumer, regardless of which ‌iPhone‌ model they have, can join in its fight to defend their "economic interests" and the environment. Additionally, the agency pinpoints the release of iOS 11 as the start of the case.

According to the agency, Apple was aware that the update would "have considerable impacts on ‌iPhone‌ performance." Yet, it still "encouraged its users to update the devices." Those who did update their device were "faced with a slow phone, with a weak performance and unexpected "blackouts," according to the statement.

Aware that it would cause slowness in devices, performance breaks, and unexpected blackouts, Apple encouraged iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, or 6S Plus users to update their devices with the latest version of their operating system. In doing so, he knew they would prefer new iPhones, not other brands, given the high loyalty of their customers.

Deco Proteste and Euroconsumer, a more extensive European consumer protection agency group, say they've been attempting to come to a resolution for consumers impacted by Apple's "programmed obsolescence" for the past three years, but have had no luck. Apple was forced to pay a fine of 10 million euros in Italy following an Italian consumer protection agency investigation. Deco Proteste says "Portuguese consumers deserve the same treatment," hence its intent to move forward with the lawsuit.

As part of its push to encourage Portuguese consumers to join in their legal battle, Deco Proteste has produced a short video titled "Some apples are spoiled ahead of time." The agency is also encouraging the use of the hashtag #stopobsolescenciaiiPhone6.

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Top Rated Comments

Suckfest 9001 Avatar
43 months ago
Once again I’m in agreement with this investigation. I’m not about to let apple off the hook because a bunch of macrumors posters ran to their defence. I want it investigated and handled properly, guilty or not.

That being said, apple doesn’t add enough features in between major releases to warrant some of those performance drops in my opinion. There’s something going on and I’m glad others are noticing.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iShater Avatar
43 months ago

Case dismissed!..As an owner of iPhone 6 Plus, before any update, Apple advises customers that software update is only for Model XXX or later.
Then that update should not be available if it will severely impact a device. I had a few year back an iPad that basically became useless after an iOS update, and there was no way to go back to previous version where it actually worked fine.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Smoovejayy Avatar
43 months ago
This is so stupid, at this point. Yes, Apple could have communicated what they were doing behind the scenes. They didn't, they tried to make it right. Years ago. That's it.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scipster Avatar
43 months ago
iPhone 6 and 6s? Deco Proteste is years behind the eight ball on this. At some point they have to say enough is enough.

Honestly, instead of fines, they should just allow old iPhone owners to downgrade their version of iOS to the one that came with the phone. Problem solved.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
43 months ago

Considering the mountains of iPhone 12 complaints and most recently massive bugs that have gotten terrible with iOS lately, specifically iOS 13 and 14, (and even more specifically ios 14.4), I fully support Apple being forced to slow down on features and concentrate more on fixing bugs. My iPhone XR ran better on iOS 12 and 13 than my iPhone 12 does on iOS 14.

Unfortunately the only way you get companies to change is by screwing with their money.
What "mountains of iphone 12 complaints" that are above any other release in the past and what "massive bugs" that are outside the norm for iphone releases?

As far as the lawsuit, at this point it seems to be a money grab, but there are likely other lawsuits waiting in the wings.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
repoman016 Avatar
43 months ago

Considering the mountains of iPhone 12 complaints and most recently massive bugs that have gotten terrible with iOS lately, specifically iOS 13 and 14, (and even more specifically ios 14.4), I fully support Apple being forced to slow down on features and concentrate more on fixing bugs. My iPhone XR ran better on iOS 12 and 13 than my iPhone 12 does on iOS 14.

Unfortunately the only way you get companies to change is by screwing with their money.
I haven't enjoyed an iPhone since the 6s. Its a shame. Blame the phone (11 pro max), blame the software. Blame whatever but they aren't what they used to be. i have 10000 emoji's to pick from at the cost of stability.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)