Around 25 million UK iPhone users could be eligible for a payout as part of a £768 million legal action against Apple over the infamous ‘batterygate’ scandal.
Justin Gutmann is a market researcher who has applied for approval to the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal to bring a collective action against Apple on behalf of anyone in the UK who bought an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models.
As reported by Bloomberg, the suit is the latest turn in the long-running ‘batterygate’ scandal, whereby it emerged that Apple was using its iOS software updates to deliberately slow down the performance of the iPhone in order to stop it from shutting down completely as the devices aged.
A spokesperson for Apple said the company had never and would never “do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.” Back in 2017, Apple issued a public apology about the saga:
We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.
Apple has already faced numerous legal challenges in other countries and even fines over the incident, making this new UK action the latest in a long line of attempts to get customers compensation.
Both the action itself and the amount of compensation on offer need to be confirmed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The action is for each model owned, rather than for each customer, so early adopters, and regular upgraders could possibly be in with a shout for multiple payments, and the claim is opt-out, meaning users don’t have to actively join the case in order to seek damages. Down the line, it is likely there will be a way for customers to apply for the damages should the award be granted.
Looking ahead to September, Apple is expected to replace its current best iPhone, the iPhone 13, with a new iPhone 14 model that could see some big upgrades for the ‘Pro’ model.
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