Lawsuits against Apple iPhone throttling seek class action

Dozens of iPhone customers, claiming Apple slowed down iPhones to make them buy new ones, aim to combine the suits into one legal action to rule them all.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
Apple iPhone

Apple slowed down the performance of some older iPhones. People were not happy about that.

John Kim / CNET

After an outcry in the court of public opinion, Apple's controversial iPhone slowdown is generating one of the blockbuster device's biggest legal threats.  

Fifty-nine separate lawsuits, in which dozens of customers are suing Apple over a software tweak that throttles some older iPhones, are seeking class-action status, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Apple didn't respond to a message seeking comment. 

After years of complaints from consumers that their iPhones seem slower once a new model is released, Apple disclosed in December that its software intentionally slowed some iPhones under particular circumstances. Apple has maintained that the practice is designed to protect iPhones from automatically shutting down during certain high-speed tasks if its batteries are old, the device is very cold or it's operating at low power.

But iPhone customers in the lawsuits claim the practice is fraud designed to encourage people to buy the latest -- and most expensive -- model of phone. 

Movement to combine the various cases into one class-action suit will start Thursday at a legal meeting in Atlanta, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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