iPhone users suing Apple over Batterygate might merge lawsuits into one class action case
According to a report recently published by the Wall Street Journal, there are currently 59 different lawsuits filed against Apple after it had decided to update its iOS mobile operating system last year in order slow down the performance speed of older iPhone models. Now it is quite possible that these dozens of unhappy iPhone owners will merge all of their separate lawsuits to form one big class action case.
The move to combine all of these different lawsuits will make significant progress for the first time this week by way of a legal meeting to be held in Atlanta, the capital city of the state of Georgia. The process of merging the cases will involve selecting a lead attorney, as well as picking the court location.
As pointed out by several legal experts, it is quite unusual for a big number of separate lawsuits to be connected to one issue, although it is customary of class action lawsuits to be taken against large corporate entities, such as those as prominent as Apple.
59 lawsuits is indeed pretty remarkable -- to provide some context, this number is easily three fold that of the number of cases filed against Apple eight years ago over issues connected to the iPhone 4’s habit of dropping phone calls. Those lawsuits had also eventually merged into a class action case in 2012, with Apple finding itself dealing with a total potential settlement amount of $315 million.
It goes without saying that Apple is already pretty used to handling court cases (even against the FBI) by now, but things are never that simple. For one, this possible class action lawsuit could compel the iPhone maker to shared some of its closely guarded secrets to the rest of the world, which is something that it takes seriously.
Moreover, the domino effect of the potential class action lawsuit could be felt far and wide in the phone making industry. Even if other tech companies are not directly involved in the Batterygate legal case, they might be forced to be more open about how their hardware or software can affect their respective customers’ mobile devices.
Going back to Apple, nobody knows for sure how the possible class action lawsuit will affect the tech giant’s branding in the long run. Apart from its tech wizardry, another thing that has made Apple so big today is the trust and reliability it has built with its customers (who are among the most loyal of any fan base, despite some misgivings).