Apple Inc. faces a UK lawsuit that could seek hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation for iPhone users after it was accused of misleading customers on a controversial power management tool.
Justin Gutmann, a market researcher, has applied to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for approval to bring a collective action on behalf of UK iPhone users, according to a statement Thursday. The suit could sweep up as many as 25 million people who bought the iPhone models from 6 through to the X if successful.
The suit alleges that Apple abused its dominant market position by informing customers that software updates from late 2016 improved the battery life of the devices when in fact, it quietly “throttled” it. Gutmann says Apple concealed a power management tool in the updates to hide that the phone’s batteries couldn’t handle the new software’s processing demands, which caused shutdowns and glitches.
“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,” a spokesperson from Apple said.
In order to progress the collective action will need to be approved by the CAT and the amount of compensation is yet to be determined. Gutmann and his lawyers estimate the total compensation could be as much as £768 million ($927 million).