On Monday, Altroconsumo, Italy consumer association, part of the international group Euroconsumers, launched a class-action lawsuit against the Cupertino tech giant, Apple. Italy consumer association claims that Apple engages in planned obsolescence with its iPhones.
The class-action lawsuit revolves around iPhone 6 and 6s generation of devices. Apple approximately sold 1 million of these iPhone in Italy, between 2014 and 2020. These iPhones were affected by Batterygate slowdown issue, in which Apple used a software update to slow down the phones’ performance.
Italy Consumer Association files class-action suit against Apple over planned obsolescence of iPhones
In a statement by Altroconsumo, it asked for damages worth 60 million euros ($73 million) on behalf of Italian consumers tricked by the practice which had also been recognized by Italian authorities. The report came via Reuters.
Els Bruggerman, Head of Policy and Enforcement of the Italy consumer association said:
Planned obsolescence is a deliberate unfair practice to consumers that causes frustration and financial harm. In November 2020, Apple announced that it will pay $113 million to settle allegations that it slowed down iPhones to mask battery issues. That settlement clearly demonstrates that Apple resorted to planned obsolescence as a deliberate attemp to increase renewal of phone, hide issues and deceive consumers.
The batterygate incident is proving to be quite the costly lapse of judgment for the tech giant. Apple admitted that it slowed down aging iPhone models to stop them from crashing, in 2017. The year after, 2018, the company released an iOS update that allowed customers to disable automatic throttling of these older handsets.
According to Bruggerman, Altroconsumo began working on this area of planned obsolescence way back in 2017. That year it launched a platform called Trop Vite Usé (Trased Too Fast). This allowed consumers to report products that wore out too quickly. Smartphones are the most registered product.
Euroconsumers is pushing similar lawsuits in Spain, Belgium, and soon in Portugal. The lawsuits ask for compensation, at least 60 euros for each impacted consumer.
Italy consumer association Altroconsumo’s preliminary court hearing against Apple will be held on 26th July 2021.
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