Apple has been in further difficulties when the Spanish Consumer Protection Organisation (OCU) wrote to the tech giant, protesting on behalf of users that its recent iOS updates – iOS 14.5, 14.5.1, and 14.6 – are slowing down many of its iPhone models – 12, 11, XS, and 8. According to local reports, the OCU has instructed Cupertino to develop a means to compensate the impacted users for their phones slowing down. It went on to say that if the iPhone maker’s response were not adequate, it would take the case to court. Apple is facing a potential lawsuit.
Deco Proteste, Test-Achats, and Altroconsumo collaborated on the statement. Deco Proteste in Portugal claimed earlier this year that Apple was engaging in planned obsolescence, claiming in a statement that Cupertino was attempting to deceive iPhone customers. It claimed that Apple had failed to notify consumers and had hindered the performance of its popular iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus smartphones, requiring users to either replace the battery or buy a new phone.
While Apple has faced accusations of slowing down older devices in the past, for which it was fined last year, this time, the charges involve slowing down the most recent iPhone, which does not appear to make any sense. It could indicate that the update is erroneous and negatively impacting the phones’ performance. However, it’s possible that, with the release of the new iPhone range just around the corner, Cupertino is attempting to entice consumers to upgrade to the latest models by causing problems with older devices, such as the iPhones 12 and 11.
The case could prove problematic for Apple, as it is already embroiled in a legal battle with Fortnite producer Epic Games for claimed misuse of dominant position by forcing developers to charge for in-app upgrades through the App Store’s payment gateway and charging a 30% commission. Another lawsuit in the same year might be a significant setback for Cupertino, mainly since its whole defense in the Epic Games lawsuit focuses on maintaining iPhone security so that customers do not have to worry about malware attacks.
Not only that, but amid the debate over Facebook’s targeted ad approach, which Cupertino has thwarted with its iOS 14.5 update, the iPhone manufacturer has been slamming the social media giant for jeopardizing user security. When Facebook replied by claiming to be working in favor of small businesses, Apple retaliated by claiming to be standing up for its users.
Apple has defended most of its controversial practices by citing user safety. Still, a lawsuit for this, especially so soon after Cupertino was punished for this behavior earlier, may be a genuine problem. While the tech giant has since added features such as the Battery Health indicator and is considering allowing users to choose whether they want to upgrade to iOS 15 or stay on iOS 14 and only receive security patches starting later this year, it is unclear whether this will be enough to protect Cupertino from damages if a similar Apple lawsuit is filed again.