The consumer protection bureau of Israel has indicated that it is conducting investigations over the failure of Apple to inform owners of iPhones that software updates could lead to a slowdown in performance. In a statement Israel’s consumer body indicated that Rony Friedman, Apple’s chief in Israel had been questioned. The consumer body’s spokesperson revealed that penalties could include significant fines.
Last year in December Apple disclosed that its software was causing phones possessing weak batteries to slow down. Apple then sent out an apology besides reducing the price of the affected phone’s battery replacements.
Deteriorating in performance
According to critics Apple has not made it clear that when a battery wears out, holding a charge not only deteriorates but the performance of the phone is also degraded. This pushes consumers to purchase a new device instead of a new battery. Besides Israel Apple is also being investigated in other countries such as South Korea, Italy, France and Brazil.
Shortly after the disclosure Apple made last year a class action suit was filed in Israel seeking $125 million as other class action lawsuits were being filed in the U.S. In the U.S. class action suit consumers said that when their devices slowed down their only conclusion was to purchase new iPhones. The Israeli suit on the other hand claimed that users depended entirely on the judgment of Apple with regards to the iOS operating system and the entire iPhone.
Class action lawsuit
The suit filed in Israel accused the Cupertino, California-based tech giant of neglect of duty since it didn’t inform users that by updating software they were likely to have a poor user experience. According to the plaintiffs the software updates had the effect of impairing the ability of the consumer to surf the internet, check mail as well as use various other applications.
The plaintiffs also argued that Apple should have informed them prior to downloading and installing the software updates. Additionally the suit alleged that Apple deliberately hid some information so that users would end up buying new iPhones.
This comes in the wake of a survey conducted by Piper Jaffray which concluded that 82% of American teenagers possess an iPhone. For Apple this was an improvement since in fall last year the percentage of American teenagers who owned an iPhone was 78%. In the future the figure is liely to be higher as 84% of American teens are eyeing an iPhone as their next smartphone. Piper Jaffray conducts the survey in 40 states.