It becomes more and more difficult to keep count of the lawsuits filed against Apple these days, as the company is being sued not only for deliberately slowing down iPhones with degraded batteries, but also for the Meltdown and Spectre patches it shipped to its devices.
While in the first case Apple is being accused of planned obsolescence, in the latter the lawsuit suggests not only that Cupertino knew about the two security vulnerabilities long before they were disclosed publicly, but also that the firm reduces the performance of its devices with the patches.
The lawsuit filed by Anthony Bartling and Jacqueline Olson in a U.S. district court in San Jose calls for 100 Apple customers to join the class action, asking for damages in excess of $5 million.
Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities affected the majority of iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple TV models, as despite being equipped with an in-house A-series chip, these devices run on ARM technologies. With ARM itself impacted by the two hardware flaws, Apple had to ship patches for its devices to keep them protected.
Apple slows down iPhones with security patches
But the lawsuit says that Apple should have disclosed the vulnerabilities earlier and points out it’s been aware of their existence since at least June 2017. Furthermore, it claims that the patches reduce the performance of its processors by 5 to 30 percent.
“ARM Holdings PLC, the company that licenses the ARM architecture to Apple, admits that it was notified of the Security Vulnerabilities in June 2017 by Google’s Project Zero and that it immediately notified its architecture licensees (presumably, including Apple) who create their own processor designs of the Security Vulnerabilities,” the lawsuit reads.
Apple says the performance impact of the Meltdown and Spectre updates is barely noticeable, but benchmarks have shown that on older models, some tasks can be slowed down by as much as 50 percent as compared to the same device without the patches.
Apple hasn’t commented on this lawsuit and the chances are the company will remain tight-lipped, at least until the judge decides if the case should proceed to trial or not.