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Apple just can't stop the costly 'batterygate' from coming back to haunt it

Apple already lost $500 million in one batterygate lawsuit, and it looks like the door's open for it to lose more.
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Published onNovember 1, 2023

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Robert Triggs / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • In the UK, Apple tried to block a mass lawsuit related to “batterygate” woes.
  • However, a judge has ruled Apple can’t block it, opening the door for this and future suits.
  • In the US, Apple needed to pay $500 million in a class-action suit related to batterygate.

Remember “batterygate”? If you need a refresher, it was a problem Apple faced in 2017 when it was proven the company intentionally throttles iPhone performance to preserve the longevity of batteries. In other words, Apple used software updates to make iPhones less powerful under the guise that it was doing users a favor.

In the United States, a class-action suit against the company for this practice resulted in Apple forking out $500 million. Obviously, Apple would like to avoid losing that much money again in the future.

Unfortunately, things won’t be so easy. According to Reuters, Apple’s legal team tried to block a similar batterygate suit from going forward in the United Kingdom. However, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) sided with the plaintiff and approved the mass lawsuit to go forward.

UK-based consumer champion Justin Gutmann filed the mass lawsuit. He is looking for cash payouts for the roughly 24 million iPhone users in the UK. Gutmann is looking for much more money from Apple this time around, with his legal team seeking compensation to the tune of £1.6 billion (~$1.9 billion). The CAT, however, did note in its ruling that there is “a lack of clarity and specificity” in Gutmann’s case, so that number could change.

Gutmann called the ruling “a major step towards consumer justice.” Apple, meanwhile, said the same thing it said in other batterygate-related accusations: “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.”

With Gutmann getting the green light, we’ll likely see new information about this mass lawsuit in the coming months.