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Apple faces new lawsuit over iPhone slowing down


The Italian consumer association Altroconsumo said Monday that Apple had deliberately slowed down old iPhones in Italy, prompting the association to inform the US tech giant that it had launched a class-action lawsuit against it.

The association said in a statement that it had sought compensation of 60 million euros ($73 million) - or about 60 euros per device - on behalf of Italian consumers who had been deceived by the practice recognized by the Italian authorities.

Euro consumers, an EU-wide advocacy organization that includes Italy's Altroconsumo, says the compensation of €60 is the average amount consumers pay to replace their battery.

The lawsuit includes owners of iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6S Plus, whose sales in Italy totaled about 1 million between 2014 and 2020.

Apple said in an email that it has done nothing to deliberately shorten the life of any of its products, or weaken the user experience to drive customer upgrades.

"Our goal has always been to provide products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of this.

"When consumers buy iPhones, they expect sustainable quality products, and unfortunately, this didn't happen with the iPhone 6 series," Els Bruggeman, Head of Policy and Implementation at Euro consumers, said in a statement.

"Not only have consumers been defrauded, but they have also had to face frustration and financial harm, and from an environmental point of view, this is totally irresponsible.

Euro consumers filed two similar lawsuits in December on behalf of Test-Achats member organizations in Belgium and OCU in Spain for slowing down older iPhones.

 The European Consumer Association, which coordinates the three lawsuits, said it also plans to launch a fourth class-action lawsuit in Portugal in the coming weeks.

Apple agreed to a $500 million settlement in the United States in March, after admitting to slowing down older iPhones and compensating consumers who bought the iPhone 6 or 7 iPhone, which was stifled to maintain battery life.

The company also agreed to a second settlement in November with 34 U.S. states for an additional $113 million.

"Apple is well aware that by hiding the deliberate slowdown of older phones, it can take advantage of people who buy new phones instead of replacing batteries," the state attorney general said.