Apple hit by 'slow phones' lawsuit in Belgium and Spain

Apple hit by 'slow phones' lawsuit in Belgium and Spain
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Belgian consumer rights group Test Achats is filing a class-action suit against Apple over planned obsolescence of several of the tech giant's iPhone models.

Spanish consumer rights group OCU is also hitting Apple with the suit, led by European consumer protection organisation Euroconsumers.

The organisations are seeking to get the US tech giant to pay damages to Spanish and Belgian consumers and to stop integrating planned obsolescence into its products, a controversial practice which causes phones to deteriorate faster and encourage users to buy newer models.

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"Planned obsolescence represents not only a deliberate unfair practice towards consumers but is also environmentally irresponsible," Euroconsumers wrote in an online statement. "Consumers are increasingly frustrated by products wearing out way too fast."

"The lawsuits cover owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus and allege Apple engaged in unfair and misleading commercial practices," the association wrote in a press release.

To date, Euroconsumers have sent Apple a cease and desist letter following news that the tech firm had proposed €500 million to settle a US lawsuit over accusations that it slowed down old phones as it prepared to launch new ones.

It also came after a court in Italy hit the company with a €10 million fine over litigation related to planned obsolescence, according to a press release.

The consumer rights groups are seeking to obtain an average compensation of €60 for each affected consumer in Belgium and in Spain and Euroconsumers said that they are preparing similar lawsuits in Portugal and Italy in the coming weeks.

Users in Belgium who own or have owned in the past one of the mentioned iPhone models can register through TestAchat and be informed of the proceedings.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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