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.

Top Rated Comments

Suckfest 9001 Avatar
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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)

Related Stories

generic tracking prompt blue

Apps Continuing to Track Users Despite Apple's Privacy Prompt

Monday June 7, 2021 8:04 am PDT by
Apple is facing increasing pressure to tighten its App Tracking Transparency rules after it was found that third parties are using workarounds to identify users who do not consent to be tracked, according to the Financial Times. Apple rules around App Tracking Transparency, which came into effect as part of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, require apps to ask for consent to track users across...

Australian Watchdog Wants iOS Users to Have More Control Over Preinstalled Apps

Wednesday April 28, 2021 2:04 am PDT by
In an report related to its ongoing investigation into Apple and Google app marketplace dominance, Australia's consumer watchdog has warned both companies that it wants consumers to have more choice when it comes to preinstalled apps on Apple and Android devices (via ZDNet). Specifically, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants Apple and Google to give users more...
macbook pro butterfly keyboard

MacBook Owners' Butterfly Keyboard Lawsuit Against Apple Gets Class Action Certification

Monday March 22, 2021 9:33 am PDT by
Apple customers unhappy with the butterfly keyboards used in MacBook models from 2015 on will be able to proceed with a lawsuit against the Cupertino company, as the judge overseeing the case has given it class action status [PDF]. The suit covers anyone who purchased a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan. As...
app store blue banner uk

UK Class Action Accuses Apple of Breaking Competition Law by Overcharging for Apps

Tuesday May 11, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
A new legal case filed with the U.K.'s Competition Appeal Tribunal has accused Apple of breaching competition law by overcharging nearly 20 million customers for App Store purchases. The collective action case alleges Apple's 30% commission on app sales and consumers' forced use of its own payment processing system generates "unlawfully excessive levels of profit," and calls for the company...

Apple Stops Signing iOS 14.5 Following Bug Fix iOS 14.5.1 Release

Monday May 10, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
Following the release of iOS 14.5.1 last week, Apple has stopped signing iOS 14.5, the previously available version of iOS 14 that was released in late April. With iOS 14.5 no longer being signed, it is not possible to downgrade to iOS 14.5 if you've already installed iOS 14.5.1. Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to...
iPhone slow

Italian Consumer Association Launches Lawsuit Against Apple for Planned Obsolescence

Monday January 25, 2021 10:42 am PST by
Italian consumer association Altroconsumo today announced that it has launched a class action lawsuit [PDF] against Apple for planned obsolescence (via Reuters). Altroconsumo is seeking damages of 60 million euros on behalf of Italian consumers who were "tricked" by the practice, with the lawsuit covering the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus."When consumers buy Apple...

FDA Says Risk of MagSafe Interference With Pacemakers is Low

Friday May 14, 2021 11:11 am PDT by
Earlier this year, three doctors in Michigan found that iPhone 12 models can "potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient" due to the MagSafe system causing magnetic interference with implantable medical devices, like pacemakers. Following its own testing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week announced that while certain newer cell phones, smart watches, and other...

Some Users Reporting Excessive Battery Drain Following iOS 14.6 Update

Tuesday June 1, 2021 5:50 am PDT by
Following the release of iOS and iPadOS 14.6 last week, some users have taken to social media and online forums to note that their devices have been experiencing excessive battery drain since installing the software updates. The Apple Support Community and MacRumors forums are riddled with posts from users stating their device now drains faster following the update. One user on the Apple...
apple independent repair program

FTC Report Highlights Consumer Harms of Manufacturer Repair Restrictions

Friday May 7, 2021 4:26 am PDT by
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has published an in-depth report looking at how the product repair restrictions that manufacturers put in place negatively impact consumers and small businesses in various ways. Titled "Nixing the Fix," the report covers a litany of methods that companies use to limit the ability for customers and independent business to repair their products. Focusing...
iphone 11 pro charger

Apple Fined $2 Million in Brazil for Selling iPhones Without Chargers

Saturday March 20, 2021 8:04 am PDT by
Apple has been slapped with a near $2 million fine in the Brazilian state of São Paulo over violations of the Consumer Law Code due to the lack of a charger in the box for newer iPhones, Brazilian tech news outlet Tilt reports. Procon-SP, São Paulo's consumer protection agency, decided to fine Apple following intense scrutiny over the decision to remove the power adapter from the boxes of...