(Note: Updated with additional details in paragraphs 4-5, 7)
Kim Han Joo
SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhpa) — Thousands of South Korean iPhone users lost a lawsuit seeking compensation from Apple Inc. on Thursday.
The Seoul Central District Court has ruled against approximately 9,800 iPhone owners without giving specific reasons for the ruling. The court also ordered the plaintiff to pay legal costs.
Long-running ‘battery gate’ dates back to 2017
The complaint, filed in 2018 against Apple and its South Korean division, Apple Korea, alleges that the iPhone’s battery may struggle to run the latest iOS software.
Instead of recalling the product or providing a replacement battery, the company claims it advised users to download the latest software update.
Plaintiffs alleged that their iPhone handsets malfunctioned after being updated. Affected phones are known to be iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 models.
Similar lawsuits were filed by over 62,000 local customers in total, seeking a combined KRW 12.7 billion (US$10.4 million). They demanded 200,000 won per iPhone user.
Apple initially denied intentionally slowing down iPhone batteries. However, the company later announced that it did so to preserve battery life, and claimed that the move was not intended to force users to buy new batteries.