TORONTO, February 26, 2018 – Rochon Genova LLP launched a class action lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Court alleging that Apple substantially slowed iPhones without warning to or consent from consumers.
The claim alleges that Apple’s iOS software updates for iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus were provided to iPhone users under the pretense that the software updates were necessary to deliver enhanced security and performance. In reality, however, the updates allowed Apple to slow down the performance of these updated iPhones. This practice is known as “throttling” because Apple intentionally slows the phone’s CPU.
Although Apple’s slowing of iPhones began at some point in 2016 this practise was only exposed in December 2017 through a study conducted by John Poole at Primate Labs.
“By intentionally substantially slowing iPhones, Apple not only interfered with users’ personal property, but they did so while keeping consumers totally the dark” said Joel Rochon, partner at Rochon Genova LLP, who represents class members. “Being the dominant smartphone company in Canada and around the world, Apple should not only know better, but must be held accountable—especially where it is alleged they substantially slowed iPhones and then encouraged customers to spend money on upgraded products.”
Users were never informed of this practice, were never asked to consent to it, and were never given the option of opting out. “Following the download of the update, I noticed that my phone was running far slower than previously—painfully slow,” notes Cherif Saleh, representative plaintiff in the lawsuit. “Apple support advised me to ‘go to the Apple Store’ to buy a new phone—this sort of deceitful behaviour from Apple is totally unacceptable.”
This class action lawsuit includes all owners of iPhone models 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus, and alleges that Apple’s actions violated Consumer Protection Act legislation. None of the allegations have been proven in court, although Apple has admitted to intentionally slowing iPhones through its iOS 10.2.1, 10.3, and 11.2 updates.