Consumer rights organization Euroconsumers announced Monday that it is coordinating a third class action lawsuit against Apple Inc. over the technology giant’s planned iPhone obsolescence.
The lawsuit was filed in Italy and “seeks compensation of at least €60 on average for owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus.” Euroconsumers is taking action against Apple because it believes that planned obsolescence, the practice of manufacturing a good to become prematurely out-of-date, is a “deliberate unfair practice towards consumers” and “environmentally irresponsible.” The iPhone 6 range is being targeted because it represents a “very concrete example” of consumer frustration sparked by the planned obsolescence.
The Italian lawsuit is the third in Euroconsumers’ actions against Apple. Similar lawsuits were filed in Belgium and Spain in December after non-litigation dispute resolution attempts between Euroconsumers and Apple failed. Such attempts included a cease and desist letter sent to Apple alleging that “[a] very high number of consumers who own(ed) iPhone 6, 6s, 6plus, 6s plus devices … had experienced malfunctions, loss of performance and sudden shutdowns of their smartphones, and that, to overcome them, they had had to replace the battery or purchase a later generation iPhone” after updating the iOS10 operating system.
Euroconsumers’ Head of Policy and Enforcement, Els Bruggeman, said in a press release:
When consumers buy Apple iPhones, they expect sustainable quality products. Unfortunately, that is not what happened with the iPhone 6 series. Not only were consumers defrauded, and did they have to face frustration and financial harm, from an environmental point of view it is also utterly irresponsible. This new lawsuit is the latest front in our fight against planned obsolescence in Europe. Our ask is simple: American consumers received compensation, European consumers want to be treated with the same fairness and respect.
Apple has faced sanctions for its use of planned obsolescence practices in the past. Italian independent authority AGCM fined Apple £10 million in 2018 for its planned obsolescence which saw older users strongly encouraged to install a new operating system which slowed down their device and decreased its functionality, unbeknownst to users.
Euroconsumers said that it intends to file a fourth class action lawsuit in Portugal within “the coming weeks.”