Top Consumer Law Firm Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Apple for iPhone Slowdown


Law firm previously obtained $450M settlement in Apple e-books case, looks to take on Apple again

SAN JOSE, Calif. – One of the nation’s top consumer-rights law firms has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple for secretly installing a feature to intentionally slow down performance of many iPhone models, according to Hagens Berman.

The suit, filed Jan. 5, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks compensation for degraded performance in affected phones, as well as compensation for those who purchased new iPhones (often at the urging of Apple representatives) to alleviate Apple's secretive and unauthorized slowdown of their phones. It also seeks compensation for those who paid full price for battery replacements in affected phones before Apple began offering them at a reduced price. 

If you own an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus or SE, find out more about the lawsuit and sign up here.

“It wasn’t until Apple was faced with consumer outcry and bad press that it finally chose to come clean about its secretive installation of performance-limiting software on millions of iPhones,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “To add insult to injury, Apple’s answer to its loyal customers is ‘Pay us $29 for a replacement battery to fix our covered-up slowdown.’ Consumers deserve a better answer.”

Apple's actions left consumers without critical information. Many were likely led to believe that their affected iPhones were suffering performance issues because they were essentially obsolete, and so they purchased new iPhones from Apple. But instead, the slowness they experienced was due to Apple’s secret “feature.”

Berman said, “We’re willing to fight them again to ensure iPhone owners are given just payback.” In 2015, the firm achieved a $450 million settlement against Apple and the nation's largest publishing companies for artificially inflating the price of e-books. Apple fought the case tooth-and-nail, sending it to the Supreme Court, where Apple lost.

The class action details a longstanding issue with iPhone performance, leading up to Apple’s installation of the performance-docking feature in iOS updates. In 2016, many iPhone owners had already grown dismayed with their iPhone performance, as reports surfaced of random, unexpected and disruptive shutdowns of certain iPhones, the suit states. Apple cryptically covered-up the issue and refused to fully inform the public of the root of the widespread shutdowns, according to the suit.

In more recent news, a researcher found evidence that Apple had embedded performance-degrading features into iOS updates, likely as a means to prevent these shutdowns. Apple's performance-limiting features were snuck into routine updates, unbeknownst to iPhone owners.

The suit says Apple handed iPhone owners an empty apology and late explanation, stating that "users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance." In this same breath, Apple announced it would "reduc[e] the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 – from $79 to $29 – for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced" through the end of 2018.

Find out more about the class-action lawsuit against Apple for its iPhone slowdown.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with 11 offices across the country. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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05/07/18: Case Transfer & Consolidation

On Apr. 4, 2018, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered transfer of pending federal cases to the Northern District of California. The Hon. Edward J. Davila will preside over coordinated pretrial proceedings. Read the order »

Next, the court will proceed with initial tasks in the matter, including the appointment of leadership and the filing of a consolidated amended complaint. Our legal team will continue to keep this page updated as the suit progresses.

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