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Class action suit in Israel claims Apple slowed phones to fool customers

NEW YORK CITY (JTA) – A class action lawsuit has been filed in Israel against Apple accusing the company of intentionally slowing down the  performance of older model iPhones so customers would buy new ones.

The $125 million lawsuit was filed on in Tel Aviv. It comes on the heels of at least four other lawsuits filed in the United States saying the tech giant breached its duty toward users by failing to disclose that “innocent” software updates would slow the devices and ostensibly encourage consumers to buy new ones.

The lawsuits were filed after the disclosure last week by Apple that it provided software updates that slowed the phones in order, said the company, to make aging batteries last longer. Lawsuits filed in the United States charged that when faced with the slowdown, consumers concluded that they had to buy new and more expensive iPhones.

The Israeli lawsuit states that users are entirely dependent on Apple’s judgment regarding their use of the operating system and the cell phone, according to the website Patently Apple. The claim accuses Apple of breaching its basic duties toward users by failing to disclose that the software updates would have negative implications for their phone use. It says that the software updates impaired consumers’ ability to browse the web, check e-mail and use various applications, and that consumers should have been made aware of the potential slowdowns before downloading the updates to the operating system.

The lawsuit also accuses Apple of having “a clear interest in hiding the information from users because it would prefer they replace old iPhones with new ones as soon as possible.”

Following a post on the website Reddit, which suggested that iPhones performed worse after the updates were downloaded, Apple announced that the updates were meant to fix the irregularities in the iPhone power usage and to prevent sudden phone shutdowns.

The iPhones affected by the software fix are iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE and iPhone 7.



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