The latest iPhone battery ‘throttling' lawsuit has been cleared to proceed to court, with Apple potentially facing a $2 billion settlement over claims it knowingly used defective batteries in certain devices.
The Apple battery lawsuit has been filed by consumer champion Justin Gutmann in the UK, where the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London has now denied Cupertino's request to throw out the legal action. It will proceed at a currently unspecified date.
Gutmann brought the action on behalf of up to 25 million iPhone owners in Britain. He alleges that the batteries used in three successive generations of older iPhones were unfit for purpose, resulting in overall iPhone performance that degraded to the point the devices were unusable, forcing owners to shell out for expensive battery replacements or phone upgrades. The lawsuit echoes similar past rulings against Apple.
Apple in Dock Again Over iPhone Battery ‘Throttling' Allegations
First filed in 2022, Gutmann's iPhone battery lawsuit claims that the hardware used by Apple in seven iPhone models were unable to cope with the demands of these device's processor and operating system.
It further alleges that the iOS updates pushed automatically by Apple on iPhone users included a “power management tool” that slowed their performance and led many owners to have to pay for replacement batteries or buy new phones entirely.
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This practice is often called ‘throttling' and it's something Apple is no stranger to, with the electronics giant have paid out in multiple similar “batterygate” lawsuits in the US in the past, as well as a $27 million fine for battery throttling from France in 2020.
Is My iPhone Eligible for Compensation in the Apple Battery Lawsuit?
Maybe. The iPhones mentioned in the UK iPhone battery lawsuit were released between 2014 and 2016 and include seven models, ranging from Apple's flagships (at the time) to the first iteration of its more affordable iPhone SE handset.
Here are the devices eligible for compensation in the Apple iPhone battery lawsuit:
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
The good news for those affected is that the Apple battery lawsuit is currently filed as opt-out claim, meaning if you owned one of those iPhones you don't need to register to join the case. Instead, you'll be invited to claim any damages that may be awarded at a later date.
More recent Apple smartphones haven't been affected as badly by poor battery performance, though that's not to say you should upgrade to the iPhone 15 by any means.
What Happened in Past Apple iPhone Battery Lawsuits?
One of the reasons the UK iPhone battery lawsuit is so interesting is because Apple has priors in this department.
In 2017, the original iPhone “batterygate” saga broke and wasn't resolved until earlier this year. Apple is now finally on the brink of starting to send out compensation, according to the website tracking the proceedings, with the bill for total damages understood to be up to $500 million – or about $65 a head based on estimates.
That case was based out of the state of California, where Apple's headquarters is located, while a separate lawsuit in Arizona saw Apple settle for over $100 million. It's also currently in the dock over “abusive” iPhone and iPad app charges.
Apple has dismissed the latest UK lawsuit as “baseless” and vowed to continue to fight the charges.