Judge says lawsuit against Apple over ‘shoddy’ Powerbeats headphones can go ahead ‘in part’

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg says ruled legal action against Apple over its Powerbeats headphones can go ahead "in part,” reports the BBC. The lawsuit was filed in September 2017.

Seven customers, from different cities, say the headphones don’t hold their charge for as long as Apple claims. Nor are they as water-proof or sweat-proof as advertised. Apple promoted the Powerbeats 2 headphones as having "six hours rechargeable battery" and Powerbeats 3 as having "up to 12 hour battery life.”

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Per the BBC, Seeborg said the case could go ahead but some amendments were required to the allegations the headphone failed when in contact with sweat despite being marketed as activity wear. The judge wrote that while the customers hadn’t explicitly specified whether they had sweated while wearing the Powerbeats headphones, they did have a case in arguing the battery life of the devices was not as good as Apple had claimed in its marketing material.

"In widespread advertising and marketing campaigns, Apple touts that its costly Powerbeats (which retail for $199.95) are 'BUILT TO ENDURE' and are the 'BEST HEADPHONES FOR WORKING OUT'," the complaint says. "But these costly headphones are neither 'built to endure' nor 'sweat & water resistant,' and certainly do not have a battery that lasts for six or twelve hours. Instead, these shoddy headphones contain a design defect that causes the battery life to diminish and eventually stop retaining a charge."

The complaint attributes the shoddiness of Apple's Powerbeats headphones to cheap components. Citing an estimate in a Motley Fool article, the complaint contends that Apple's Beats Solo headphones cost $16.89 to make and retail for $199.95: a markup of more than 1,000%.