Northern California Record

Friday, November 15, 2019

Apple should notify consumers that replacing iPhone battery can restore performance, suit says

By Angela Underwood | Jan 9, 2018

General court 09

A complaint filed in the Northern District of California against Apple Inc. alleges the company conducted unfair practices regarding software updates that affect the performance of certain iPhone models and seeks a jury trial.

The Dec. 22 Nicole Gallmann vs. Apple complaint, filed Dec. 22 by Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, is one of eight federal class unfair business practice complaints recently filed under California’s Unfair Competition Law regarding a year-old software update that aimed to manager power and prevent automatic shutdowns in older iPhones.

According to Gallmann, a San Francisco resident, and other plaintiffs under the class action complaint, iPhone legacy device (iPhone 6, 6S, SE or 7) software upgrade from iOS 10.2.1 to iOS 11.2 dramatically reduced performance.

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“Apple failed to inform consumers that phone performance would be restored – by as much as 70 percent – if affected individuals simply replaced the phone’s lithium-ion battery. Replacing the battery at an Apple store costs less than $100,” according to the class action complaint, whereas the price of the new iPhone X is more than $1,000. “Despite all of these disclosure opportunities, Apple never informed consumers that the 10.2.1 update reduced unexpected phone shutdowns by slowing the device’s performance dramatically.”

Gallman argues three causes of action in the complaint including violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, trespass to chattels and breach of covenant good faith and fair dealing.

The plaintiff requests an order certifying a proposed class that the court deem suitable under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23 that would direct “that Plaintiff’s claims proceed on a class-wide basis, and appointing Plaintiff and her counsel to represent the class,” according to the complaint.

Gallman is also seeking an order demanding Apple not be allowed to write software programs that control iPhone performance; to require Apple to notify iPhone customers when processing speeds can be fixed by a new battery; compensate Gallman any damages caused by partial practices; pay practical attorneys’ fees; pay reimbursement for post-judgment interest; and compensate for any further relief the court rules suitable.

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