South Korean iPhone Users Lose 'Batterygate' Lawsuit | Be Korea-savvy

South Korean iPhone Users Lose ‘Batterygate’ Lawsuit

Apple Inc.'s second official store in Yeouido, western Seoul, is shown in this photo, provided by the company on Feb. 24, 2021.

Apple Inc.’s second official store in Yeouido, western Seoul, is shown in this photo, provided by the company on Feb. 24, 2021.

SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Korea Bizwire)Thousands of South Korean iPhone users lost Thursday in a lawsuit seeking compensation from Apple Inc. over allegations that the company purposely slowed the performance of older models to compel users to buy new ones.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled against 9,851 owners of previous iPhone models without giving specific reasons for its verdict. The court also ordered the plaintiffs to pay for their legal expenses.

The long-running scandal dubbed “batterygate” dates back to late 2017, when allegations arose that the global tech giant artificially hampered the performance of selected iPhone models to preserve the devices’ battery life.

The claim — filed in 2018 against Apple and its South Korean unit, Apple Korea — alleges that they hid iPhone batteries may struggle to run the latest iOS software.

Instead of recalling products or offering replacement batteries, the company advised users to download the latest software updates, according to the claim.

The plaintiffs argued that their iPhone handsets suffered a slowdown following their updates. The affected handsets are known to be iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 models.

A number of similar suits were filed by more than 62,000 local customers in total, seeking a combined 12.7 billion won (US$10.4 million). Each iPhone user sought the amount of 200,000 won.

Hannuri, a law firm representing the users, released a statement, saying the ruling clearly reflects the limit of the local legal system that forces evidence to be presented at the beginning of the trial and lacks a class action suit system.

The law firm said it will review whether to appeal.

Apple had first denied purposely slowing down iPhone batteries. But the company later announced it did so to preserve battery life and argued that the measure was not aimed at getting users to buy new ones.


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