Apple faces multi-million pound UK lawsuit for abusing market dominance by secretly ‘throttling’ iPhones
Charles Lyndon and Consumer rights champion Justin Gutmann is launching a ground-breaking lawsuit worth approximately £786 million in the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London against technology giant Apple.
Gutmann, a consumer champion and market research expert, claims that, in an abuse of Apple’s market dominance, the company misled nearly 25 million UK iPhone customers with iOS updates – claiming they would improve their iPhone’s performance when in fact it reduced it by up to 58% in some cases.
The claim alleges that Apple – one of the world’s most valuable companies – abused its dominance in the market, to engage in exploitative and unfair commercial practices.
Gutmann alleges that Apple introduced this tool to disguise the fact that iPhone batteries were unable to cope with new iOS processing demands, which caused sudden shutdowns. To combat the problem, rather than undertake a product recall and repair process to replace the batteries, Apple instead encouraged users to install iOS updates which had a power management tool concealed within them. As a result, iPhone users who paid hundreds of pounds for state-of-the-art devices experienced substandard performance, with some having to pay for a replacement battery and others opting to upgrade to a newer model.
If Gutmann is successful, up to 25million UK customers who bought iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X models would be entitled to compensation for each model owned. As an opt-out claim, customers will not need to actively join the case to seek damages. Instead, they will be part of the claim unless they decide to opt out from it.
Gutmann says: “Instead of doing the honourable and legal thing by their customers and offering a free replacement, repair service or compensation, Apple instead misled people by concealing a tool in software updates that slowed their devices by up to 58%.”
“I’m launching this case so that millions of iPhone users across the UK will receive redress for the harm suffered by Apple’s actions. If this case is successful, I hope dominant companies will re-evaluate their business models and refrain from this kind of conduct.