[UPDATE – On April 4, 2018, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered 19 proposed class actions filed against Apple over the allegedly compromised performance of older iPhone models to be consolidated to the Northern District of California before the Honorable Edward J. Davila. To learn more about it means to transfer lawsuits to a single court, read our article on multidistrict litigation.]
At the tail end of 2017, alongside New Year’s resolutions and various tidings of holiday cheer, one question was on the minds of many iPhone users: How do I join a class action lawsuit against Apple?
We’ve got you covered.
How do I join a class action against Apple? What do I need to do?
As with most proposed class actions suits, iPhone users potentially covered by the litigation don’t have to do anything to be a part of the case. For just about every class action, individuals who can partake in a lawsuit and any resulting settlement—i.e., class members—are automatically included (unless they choose to opt out).
It is still very early on in the legal process—though it’s worth noting a motion to transfer all Apple iPhone performance class actions to a multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of California was filed by one lead plaintiff on January 2—and the cases still need to clear a few procedural hurdles before they’re even certified by judges as true class actions. Truth be told, the legal process, depending on how many cases are ultimately filed—a number that, if the expansiveness of the Equifax litigation affecting millions of consumers nationwide is any indicator, could reach into the hundreds—will most likely take a while.
The best thing for iPhone users to do at this point is to stay informed on the latest case developments, or contact an attorney in their area.
‘Batterygate’: A List of Every iPhone Performance Class Action Filed Against Apple So Far
Alabama - Taylor v. Apple, Inc.; 7:18-cv-00168-LSC
California - Cook v. Apple Inc.; 3:17-cv-02579-BEN-RBB
California - Hakimi v. Apple Inc.; 4:17-cv-07292-DMR
California - Mailyan v. Apple Inc.; 2:17-cv-09192
California - Gallmann v. Apple Inc.; 5:17-cv-07285
California - Harvey v. Apple Inc.; 5:17-cv-07274-NC
California - Bogdanovich et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 2:17-cv-09138
California - Batista et al. v. Apple Inc.; 5:17-cv-07355
California - Holman v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-00125
California - Solak v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-00123
California - Liebermann et al. v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-00110
California - Grillo v. Apple, Inc.; 5:18-cv-00148
California - Bartling et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 5:18-cv-00147
California - Diner v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-00179
California - Littlefied et al. v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-00182
California - Ferguson et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 5:18-cv-00206
California - Bilic et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 5:18-cv-00449
California - Hawes v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-01339
California - Webb v. Apple, Inc.; 5:18-cv-02167
California - Fung v. Apple Inc.; 3:18-cv-01585
California - Santino et al. v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-02486-EJD
Florida - Aburos v. Apple Inc.; 1:17-cv-24712
Florida - Sens v. Apple, Inc.; 0:18-cv-60128-WPD
Illinois - Neilan v. Apple Inc.; 1:17-cv-09296
Illinois - Mohammed v. Apple Inc.; 1:17-cv-09371
Indiana - Schroeder v. Apple, Inc.; 1:17-cv-04750-JMS-MPB
Louisiana - LaNasa v. Apple, Inc.; 2:17-cv-17878
Mississippi - McInnis et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 1:17-cv-00358-LG-RHW
Missouri - Burton et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 2:17-cv-04257-NKL
Missouri - Chapel v. Apple Inc.; 2:18-cv-04007-WJE
Missouri - Borstelmann v. Apple Inc. et al.; 4:18-cv-00289-JAR
New Jersey - Mills et al. v. Apple Inc.; 5:18-cv-02436-EJD
New York - Lazarus et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 1:17cv7485
New York - Drantivy v. Apple, Inc.; 1:17cv7480
New York - Rabinovits et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 1:17-cv-10032
New York – Mallh v. Apple, Inc.; 1:18-cv-00051
New York – Honigman v. Apple, Inc.; 2:18-cv-0004
Ohio – Sullivan-Stefanou et al. v. Apple, Inc..; 1:18-cv-00007-MRB
South Carolina - Brand et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 2:17-cv-03453-RMG
Texas - Miller et al. v. Apple, Inc.; 4:17-cv-00889
Is there any way I can contact the law firms and lawyers behind these lawsuits?
The contact information for the law firms that filed the above suits can be found within the PDF documents for each case. Simply click on the case name links to view the PDFs.
What if Apple chooses to settle these lawsuits? What do I need to do?
In the event Apple decides it’s the better (or, more accurately, more cost-effective) option to settle the lawsuits, class members again do not have to do anything to be included in the settlement. After a case settles, administrators normally contact class members via email or regular mail to notify them of the settlement. (Here’s how they’ll get your info.) At most, class members will have to submit a claims form through a designated settlement website.
If these cases settle, we’ll let you know.
Which iPhone models are named in the lawsuits?
The suits mention the iPhone 6; 6 Plus; 6S; 6S Plus; SE; and 7 models.
How did we get to this point?
Following a Reddit post on iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, and 7 battery and performance issues, GeekBench.com in mid-December published the results of a Primate Labs investigation that found widespread processor throttling issues in the older-model iPhones, which caused the devices to run far slower than usual or even suddenly shut down. As TechCrunch succinctly explained, many consumers’ iPhones, following software updates, were shutting off without warning as a result of the devices “hitting peaks of processor power” that their batteries were simply unable to power, leading the phones to shut down.
Here’s another tech-jargonless explanation, published by Gizmodo:
“Basically, what Apple’s software is doing is limiting the power draw of the iPhone’s processor in order to prevent unexpected shut downs and help the life of an aging battery. The main reason for this is because as lithium ion batteries get older, their ability to hold a charge diminishes, and sudden power draws can place a bigger burden on the battery than it can actually handle, resulting in the phone randomly turning off.”
In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple explained away the battery and processing issues, which many peg as having begun with 2016’s iOS 10.2.1 update, in its older phone models as all part of the company’s larger goal of delivering “the best experience for customers.” Predictably, this admission from Apple did not sit well with iPhone users, a large population of whom already had a seat on the conspiracy theory bandwagon in accusing the company of purposely slowing down its devices without consent with the goal of **adjusts tinfoil hat** inducing consumers into buying the latest iPhone model once their current phone began to slip.
On December 28, Apple released a lengthier apology and updated support page both addressing customers’ worries and announcing it would reduce the price of replacing the battery on an out-of-warranty iPhone from $79 to $29.
“First and foremost, we have never—and would never—do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”
Though Apple has planted its flag in denying the slowing-down of iPhones has anything to do with driving customers to purchase new devices, many consumers—from planned-obsolescence conspiracy theorists to ultra-fans who eagerly await each iOS update—feel the $900 million company has more explaining to do.
Can I do anything in the meantime? Should I run to my nearest Apple Store?
As noted above, Apple now offers battery replacements for $29 instead of its usual $79 Apple Store price. While earlier reports said consumers’ iPhones had to pass a diagnostic test to be eligible for the cheaper battery upgrade, MacRumors confirmed anyone with an iPhone 6 or later model, regardless of the diagnostic results, could receive a replacement battery
If you already paid $79 to replace your iPhone battery, MacRumors notes you may be able to receive a refund for the difference from Apple upon request.
If you’re unsure as to whether your iPhone may be due for a battery replacement—or suspect your device is subject to Apple’s admitted throttling—TechTimes has some helpful tips on where to start.
Should I just buy an Android and get it over with?
ClassAction.org is in no position to provide advice on such a major life decision.