Apple has been called to the London tribunal amid a $2 billion mass lawsuit that accuses the tech giant of secretly installing a power management tool in millions of iPhones to hide defective batteries. The lawsuit, worth up to 1.6 billion pounds, was brought by consumer champion Justin Gutmann on behalf of iPhone users in the United Kingdom.
What: Apple is facing a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 163 crore) lawsuit worth up to 1.6 billion pounds plus interest.
Who: The lawsuit was brought by consumer champion Justin Gutmann on behalf of iPhone users in the United Kingdom.
Why: The lawsuit accuses Apple of secretly installing a power management tool in millions of iPhones to hide defective batteries.
Gutmann’s lawyers argued that Apple concealed issues with batteries in certain phone models and “surreptitiously” installed a power management tool that limited performance. The company strongly denies its iPhones’ batteries were defective, apart from in a small number of iPhone 6s models for which it offered free battery replacements. Apple also claims its power management update reduced an iPhone 6’s performance by an average of 10 percent.
Apple’s lawyer David Wolfson said in court filings that the lawsuit effectively alleges that “not all batteries could deliver the peak power demanded in all circumstances at all times”, which was common to all battery-powered devices.
Apple’s Response: Apple said the lawsuit is baseless and strongly denies it installed a power management tool in millions of iPhones to hide defective batteries.
Battery replacements: Apple offered free battery replacements to affected customers when it was discovered a small number of iPhone 6s models had defective batteries.
Public apology: Apple issued a public apology in 2017, offering cheaper battery replacements to affected customers. The company also committed to being “clearer and more upfront” with iPhone users about battery health to Britain’s competition watchdog in 2019.
Past settlements: Apple’s lawyer Philip Moser referred to Apple’s 2020 agreements to settle a US class action and regulatory action by US states over iPhone battery issues as showing Apple was not “saying this never happened”.
Certification and Trial
Certification: Gutmann’s lawyer Philip Moser asked London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal to certify the case and allow it to proceed towards a trial.
Potential Outcome: If the case is certified, Apple will face a trial to determine whether it is liable for the allegations made in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit against Apple is a result of alleged battery management issues with certain iPhone models. While Apple has previously admitted to battery-related issues in a small number of iPhone 6s models, the company is strongly denying the far-reaching allegations made in the $2 billion mass lawsuit. The case is set to continue in the London tribunal.