U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila has appointed Beasley Allen Principal Archie Grubb to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee (PSC) for the multidistrict litigation (MDL) regarding Apple’s slowing down old iPhones. The MDL has consolidated more than 60 lawsuits in the Northern District of California.
In January 2017, Apple released an update for its operating system iOS 10.2.1, alleging the update was to prolong the life of batteries in older iPhones including models 6, 6 Plus, 6S Plus, SE and eventually, iPhone 7. Apple admitted to slowing down the phones, but said the update was to prevent the handset from unexpectedly shutting down in the event a performance spike drew too much power. This could cause customers’ handsets to turn off even if the phone indicated it was fully charged.
Apple failed to adequately inform customers that the performance issues affecting their devices was “artificially” caused by the company’s iOS update. The update created a defect in older batteries that could not handle newer processing speeds.
Plaintiffs contend that Apple was “throttling” the performance of older iPhones, reducing the performance speed on all devices by as much as 70 percent. They further claim that instead of giving customers a free battery replacement, Apple attempted to conceal the battery defect. This deception led many customers to purchase new, upgraded devices.
“I’m honored to be selected by Judge Davila to serve in this leadership position,” Grubb said. “Although the product in this case is high-tech, the issue at stake is basic. Apple broke its promise to deliver quality products and betrayed its customers’ trust by deceiving them about their device’s performance and battery functionality. We cannot allow such deceptive corporate behavior to remain unchecked.”
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established the MDL last month. The case is In Re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, case number MDL 2827.