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European iPhone 6 owners should get $72 each for slowdowns

The controversy over Apple’s introduction of performance throttling of older phones continues, almost three years later. A consumer group is saying that some European iPhone 6 owners should receive compensation.

Apple quietly introduced the measure in 2018 to prevent random shutdowns of older iPhones with degraded batteries. Following complaints, Apple offered cut-price battery replacements, and also allowed users to disable the throttling – but a European group says this isn’t enough …

CNN reports that Euroconsumers is seeking compensation of €60 ($72) per owner.

Euroconsumers, the advocacy group bringing the action, said in a statement Wednesday that the class-action lawsuits cover up to 2 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus devices in Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal […]

The Euroconsumers cases mirror a class action lawsuit against Apple in the United States that led to a proposed settlement of $500 million in March. Last month, Apple paid $113 million to settle an investigation into the matter by 34 American states, including California and Arizona.

“We’re being asked to be treated with the same fairness and respect as US consumers,” head of policy and enforcement at Euroconsumers, Els Bruggeman told CNN Business.

The group said that attempts to resolve the issue with Apple out of court were unsuccessful. It is seeking compensation of €60 ($72.30) on average for each consumer. If the lawsuits succeed, they could cost Apple €180 million ($217 million) in total, based on Euroconsumers estimates of the number of devices affected.

Italy had already fined Apple $12M for misleading customers.

Italy’s antitrust authority fined Apple €10 million ($12 million) in 2018 after finding it had misled consumers into installing the software updates on older iPhones without warning them about the effect on the device’s performance. In May, an administrative court in Italy confirmed the sanction after Apple lodged an appeal. That decision established the legal basis for the class action lawsuits, Bruggeman said.

It is, however, unclear how the other countries were selected, nor why it is being limited to the iPhone 6 range when other models were also affected.

Photo: Felipe Bustillo on Unsplash

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