Korean consumer group considering criminal case against Apple over ‘Batterygate’

A consumer group filing a civil suit against Apple on behalf of over 100 plaintiffs for damages related to a recent software update that slowed down older iPhone models are also considering preparing a criminal case, according to The Korea Herald.

“If we pursue a criminal case, the charges may include destruction of property caused by slowing down the phones, as well as fraud if (Apple) intentionally deceived users about the update,” said Yun Chul-min, a lawyer working with the consumer rights group Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, at a press conference Thursday.

Batterygate.jpeg

CUCS was set to file a civil suit representing 122 plaintiffs Thursday, asking for 2.2 million won ($2,000) in damages per plaintiff. The sum includes 1.2 million won for costs related to replacing phones that slowed down as a result of Apple’s operating system update, and one million won in compensation for “distress.”

What’s more, the Korea Communications Commission, a broadcasting and telecom regulator, has formally sought an explanation from Apple on allegations that it tried to defraud customers by deliberately slowing down devices without warning.

“We are hoping to get some answers on whether Apple intentionally restricted the performance of old iPhones and tried to hide this from customers,” said the KCC. It has no jurisdiction over Apple, which is categorized as a multinational firm. It can’t launch an official probe and can only seek an explanation at the most.