Apple faces yet another lawsuit over the infamous “Batterygate” controversy, this time in the UK. The Guardian reports that consumer rights activist Justin Gutmann has filed a claim with the Competition Appeals Tribunal, demanding £768 million in damages.
“I am launching this case so that millions of iPhone users in the UK can be compensated for the damages suffered by Apple,” Gutmann said. “I hope dominant companies will re-evaluate their business models and refrain from this kind of behavior.”
If the claim is successful, the compensation pool will be shared among owners of affected iPhones in the UK, a group believed to number 25 million.
The issue dates back to 2017 when benchmarkers reported a performance drop for the iPhone 6 and 7 after installing them past certain iOS version numbers. Apple later confirmed that it had deliberately throttled performance to preserve battery life in older handsets, apologized, explained that replacing the battery would restore performance to its previous level, and offered a discount on such replacements.
But many users were dissatisfied with this response and complained that they were not notified that Apple was reducing the performance of their devices or that they were given the option to disable the effect and suffer the consequences. (Apple added a switch for this in later versions of iOS.) Since then, the company has been dogged by legal claims.
In 2020, Apple settled a class-action lawsuit in the US and agreed to pay out up to $500 million; later that same year, it was ordered to pay an additional $113 million. And in 2020 and 2021, the company faced compensation claims from five European consumer organizations and was fined a total of €70 million (about $73 million) in Italy.
To be eligible for a share of the damages – assuming the verdict is against Apple or the company agrees to a settlement – you must (in the UK) have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus , SE (2016), 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus or X.
Gutmann used the services of Charles Lyndon for the claim. If the verdict is in his favor, you can contact the law firm at the phone number and email address listed on the contact page.