iPhones slow down: Queensland-based law firm considers taking legal action against Apple

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An Apple iPhone 7 and the company logo are seen in this illustration picture taken in Bordeaux, France, February 1, 2017
An Apple iPhone 7 and the company logo are seen in this illustration picture taken in Bordeaux, France, February 1, 2017 Reuters/Regis Duvignau

Apple is reportedly being sued for slowing down older iPhones. Australia is tipped to become the latest country to launch a class action against Apple Inc.

Law firm Shine Lawyers, which is based in Queensland, is reportedly looking into a class action against the company to get compensation for users of older iPhones impacted by updates that cause their mobile devices to become slower. This means that after some countries like the United States and Israel filed a class action against the company, Australia may soon follow suit.

According to Shine Lawyers, they are considering taking its own legal action against the technology giant. The firm may also encourage Australian iPhone users to come forward.

Shine Lawyers’ Jan Saddler said a number of cases could be brought. “In Australia, we will be looking at a class action for strict product liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and a violation of consumer trust,” Business Insider Australia reports Saddler as saying. She added that there has been no consent from people to have their phones slowed down.

It remains unclear whether or not the legal action from Australia would proceed as it would take some investigation to determine if it would. Australia and the US have different laws.

Saddler said that Shine Lawyers would have decided to commence the legal action by early next year. Compensation if the legal action succeeds is yet to be discerned.

In the United States, class actions are claiming that Apple defrauded iPhone users when it decided to slow down older devices without warning. A case was also reportedly filed in Israel.

Reddit users had previously shared their experiences with older iPhones. After speculations, the tech giant confirmed in a statement that it did slow down iPhones, but not for the reason some people thought.

There were claims that older iPhones slowing down was intended to entice users to purchase the newest models. But the company defended the move, insisting it was not a tactic to boost sales. Instead, it was meant to prolong the life of devices.

But Saddler believes it had “misled millions of consumers globally into believing that their iPhones were malfunctioning, causing them to upgrade to newer and more costly devices.” She teased that the action would be “likely” to go ahead as they could contravene Australian Consumer Law.