Two lawyers in Vietnam have started a movement to sue Apple over software that slows down older iPhones.
Apple faces iPhone slowdown legal action
Nguyen Ngoc Hung and Tran Manh Tung from Hanoi Bar Association submitted a 600-page document to the HCM City People’s Court. They also created a website to encourage iPhone users to register and join in the lawsuit. As of now, over 1,800 people have registered.
According to Hung and Tung, Apple deliberately made faulty updates to force users to spend money on battery replacement or a new phone. Apple then violated the Vietnamese Consumer Protection Law. The law in Vietnam requires evidence proving that the users had suffered damage in order to demand compensation, which the lawyers said was possible to do during the court case.
Hung and Tung demanded Apple issue solutions to stop the slowdown or offer free battery replacements to all users.
The market value in Vietnam is estimated to worth USD900m and will soon pass USD1bn. iPhones account for the largest share of Apple products sold in the country.
The number of people suing Apple across the globe is still growing after the giant tech company admitted that the new update deliberately slows down older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns as batteries age. In the US, one of the lawsuits asks for nearly USD1trn in damages. Apple may even face a criminal charge in France as planned obsolescence is illegal under French law.
The slowdown was not publicly announced but only discovered by another party. Several consumer protection organisations also said Apple might have hidden the information in order to force their customers to buy new phones.
As of September 2017, Apple announced that its revenue in the fiscal 2017 fourth quarter ended September 30, 2017, was USD52.6bn. However, the sale of the new iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X has been below expectations.