SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Apple is on course for a legal battle with consumers as the biggest class action lawsuit to date in South Korea has been filed against the technology giant.
According to sources close to the industry, law firm Hannuri will take applications from up to 400,000 iPhone users for the biggest class action lawsuit in South Korea over the next month, with plans to head to court in March.
“Though the number of plaintiffs will be decided after going through the process of obtaining a warrant of attorney, this could be the biggest class action filed by consumers in the modern history of South Korean jurisdiction,” an industry source said.
The outcome of the class action against the tech giant is being closely followed in South Korea, a country where class actions filed by consumers rarely end in favor of the accusers, as Apple has been caught intentionally slowing the performance of older iPhones as a way of minimizing battery problems.
Last week, Apple’s South Korean unit was sued for the second time by law firm Hwimyung, which is representing 403 people who filed suit for damages caused by Apple’s slowing down aging iPhones.
Earlier this month, Seoul-based civic group Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty filed a suit against Apple and Apple Korea representing scores of people seeking compensation of 2.2 million won per person.
The group said not letting consumers know about the fact that iOS software updates could slow down hardware performance was in and of itself a ‘clear breach of consumer rights’.
“Apple’s updates to slow down iPhones for battery performance are illegal. Whether the company purposely did so to boost sales or not, given the lack of punitive damages, is a whole different story,” said lawyer Jung Jun-ho, who is part of the civic group.
Apple CEO Tim Cook already denied any other motivation behind the scandalous battery saving decision during an interview with ABC News.
“Maybe we should have been clearer as well, and so we deeply apologize to anybody that thinks we had some kind of other motivation,” Cook said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)