Apple has already been sued nearly 50 times already over the iOS update that slowed down iPhones with degraded batteries, and now the CEO of the company himself is sent to court by a South Korean consumer group.
The Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty accuses Apple of “destruction of property and fraud,” according to a report from Reuters. While it’s not clear why the advocacy group is going after CEO Tim Cook himself and not after Apple, their complaint is the second legal action they start this month, after another civil damage suit filed in early January and involving 120 customers.
“For the sake of its loyal fans, Apple has to take responsibility over the slowing iPhones,” Park Soon-jang, a representative of the consumer group, was quoted as saying.
Cook says Apple warned of the slowdown
Apple has already taken responsibility for this blunder, though CEO Tim Cook tried to play down the slowdown and explain that it’s not entirely his company’s fault for devices impacted by the power management update.
“When we did put it [the software update] out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention,” Cook said in an interview. “Maybe we should have been clearer, as well. We deeply apologize for anybody that thinks we had some other kind of motivation.”
Apple is already being investigated in France over planned obsolescence and the United States and China also questioned the company over the iPhone slowdowns. South Korea, however, hasn’t said anything about a possible investigation following the complaint filed by the consumer group.
Apple admitted in late December that it deliberately reduced performance of older iPhones with worn-out batteries in an attempt to prevent unexpected shutdowns. The power management tweak, however, has been implemented without informing customers in a transparent manner, and this tricked many into buying new iPhones due to the reduced performance.
The company has also launched a battery replacement program with a discount from $79 to $29 if the repairs are conducted before the end of the year.