Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over ‘Programmed Obsolescence’

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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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