By Eric Slivka
The Competition Appeal Tribunal has allowed the Competition Appeal Tribunal to hear a UK legal challenge over the Apple “regulation” controversy in 2017.
Consumer advocate Justin Gutmann filed the claim back in June 2022, initially seeking a total of £750 million for the 25 million UK iPhone users whose devices have been affected by this issue, which stems from Apple's efforts to prevent devices with low batteries from unexpectedly shutting down during use. The claim has since risen to £1.6 billion plus interest.
Gutman's lawyers argued that Apple hid battery problems in some phone models and “secretly” installed a power management tool that limited productivity.
However, Apple said the lawsuit is “meritless” and categorically denies that iPhone batteries were defective, except for a small number of iPhone 6s models for which it offered free battery replacements.
Apple said the lawsuit is “meritless” and categorically denies that iPhone batteries were defective, except for a small number of iPhone 6s models for which it offered free battery replacements.
Apple said the lawsuit is “meritless” » p>
Gutman's lawsuit concerns iPhone 6 via iPhone X, and while the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that the claim could proceed, it also highlighted the “lack of clarity and specificity” that needed to be addressed before the case could actually proceed to trial.
Apple deployed power management features in iOS 10.2.1 in 2017 that limit performance to prevent devices with low batteries from trying to draw peak power that the batteries could no longer supply. Apple says it has introduced features to help extend device life and minimize device downtime, but some customers have criticized the company for not disclosing what it does amid suggestions it was trying to hide faulty devices.
Apple apologized for failing to better explain the changes it made and why it made them, and also introduced a low-cost battery replacement program that lasted several years.
In 2020, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle disputes. There has long been a class action lawsuit over this issue in the US, and the company is facing similar lawsuits in a number of other countries.
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