large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Apple faces two lawsuits over its intentional throttling of older iPhone performance

Apple looks to be in hot water over its intentional throttling of processors in order to preserve the batteries of older iPhones.

Two separate class-action lawsuits have been filed against Apple, one by plaintiffs in Illinois and the other from California.

Both lawsuits argue that Apple’s slowing down of iPhone performance was done without user knowledge or consent and have been designed to “fraudulently” force people to upgrade to newer models.

“Apple’s failure to inform consumers these updates would wreak havoc on the phone’s performance is being deemed purposeful, and if proven, constitutes the unlawful and decisive withholding of material information,” explained Sulaiman Law Group, which is representing the plaintiffs in Illinois.

“As a result, countless consumers have been harmed and defrauded by this illicit and immoral conduct. The plaintiffs are demanding a trial by jury.”

We’ve contacted Apple for a comment on the lawsuits it faces but Cupertino has yet to respond.

However, Apple has previously said its throttling of iPhone performance was done to improve the user experience of people with older iPhones running the latest versions of iOS by ensuring that the processor didn’t draw more power than an ageing battery can handle, thereby preventing the older handsets from crashing and shutting down.

This would appear to be a means to extend the lifespan of older iPhones rather than act as a form of built-in obsolescence.

The fact that Apple has kept this performance throttling quiet until recently, does raise the issue of transparency from the infamously secretive company, which appears to be a big part of the lawsuits being brought against Apple.

Depending on your stance, Apple’s throttling may seem reasonable or pretty poor in that its premium-priced handsets have rather limited time running at full performance.

That being said many Apple fans will buy the latest iPhone regardless of the current state of their iPhone, as Apple’s brand appeal remains very strong. This could arguably render the performance throttling a bit moot for some.

And many people tend to upgrade their smartphones every two years, tallying with 24 month phone contracts, which would also suggest that by the time battery degradation starts to be fully felt people will be ready for a new phone regardless.

If the lawsuits against Apple make it to court they could set a precedent at how long people should expect their smartphones to last for with peak performance.

Related: iPhone X review

Was Apple right to throttle iPhone performance or should it be a user’s choice? Have your say on our Facebook page or tweet @TrustedReviews.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.