Cars & Tech

Apple Is Facing a $999 Billion Lawsuit for Slowing Down iPhones

The tech giant has apologized and cut battery replacement costs by $50.
IMAGE Getty
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Everer since a Geekbench developer shared data proving that recent iOS updates led to slower performance on multiple iPhone models, it has been nothing but headaches for Apple. After the company admitted its role in the change—the reasoning was to help conserve battery life—the floodgates have opened for critics and now, lawsuits. At publish, over nine class-action suits have already been filed. The worst of them? As reported by "Apple-centric blog" Patently Apple, one woman in California has filed a lawsuit demanding $999 billion in damages. Pricey!

For many, it's not that the updates slowed performance, but that the company's lack of disclosure gives weight to a theory—baseless or not—that many owners have expressed over the years: Apple deliberately makes your iPhone run worse in hopes that you'll upgrade to a newer model. The lawsuits, including the 12-figure behemoth, accuse the tech giant of "fraud through concealment" and "unfair competition" as it relates to California's business code. 

Apple, to its credit, is taking the situation seriously. Not a company known for its apologies (still waiting for mine on the headphone jack), it did exactly that—and pushed back against any underhanded allegations—in a letter to customers posted December 28:     

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.     

First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that. 

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In addition to making amends and clarifying its position, Apple is also slashing the price of battery replacement to $29, a $50 decrease from the normal price tag. The discount will remain in place for a year, so keep that in mind for next year's holiday bonus.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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