In late 2017, Apple was sitting pretty. The iPhone X was in plentiful supply and the company was well on its way towards generating a record-breaking $88.3 billion in quarterly revenue. Things took a turn, though, when Apple in late December admitted that it purposefully throttles CPU performance on iPhone models with older and degraded batteries. While Apple claimed the underlying goal was to prevent unexpected shutdowns, iPhone fans the world over were upset at the complete lack of transparency. Indeed, Apple only decided to come clean once independent testing confirmed that certain iOS updates had a discernible impact on system performance.
Just a few days following Apple’s admission, the lawsuits started rolling in. The first class-action suit against Apple was filed on December 21 and alleged that Apple’s actions not only lowers the resale value of existing iPhones, but also coerce iPhone owners to upgrade prematurely. In short order, scores of other class-action suits were filed. As it stands now, about two months removed from Apple’s admission, Tim Cook and co. are now dealing with nearly 60 lawsuits in jurisdictions all across the country and even a few suits outside of the U.S.
With Apple facing so many suits, recently filed court documents discovered by MacRumors suggest that a good number of the aforementioned class-action lawsuits filed against Apple will likely be consolidated into one overarching case. Hardly a surprise, multiple class-action suits that stem from the same alleged wrongdoing are often merged together in the interest of efficiency and to prevent duplicitous litigation.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has disclosed that it will consider consolidating dozens of iPhone performance-related complaints filed against Apple during a hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 29 in Atlanta, Georgia, as is routine for similar cases filed across multiple states.
It will be interesting to see how the suits against Apple play out, especially in light of the numerous remedies Apple has implemented in the meantime. Most notably, Apple about two months ago announced a new battery replacement program wherein users with out-of-warranty devices can order a brand new iPhone battery for a discounted price $29. What’s more, Apple indicated in a letter to government agencies that users who purchased a new battery before the discount went into effect might be eligible for a rebate.