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South Koreans officially sue Apple for slowdown maneuver


The U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. and its subsidiary in South Korea are facing the first class-action lawsuit for purposely slowing older models of iPhones.

A civic group representing 150 iPhone users submitted an indictment to the Seoul Central District Court on Thursday, demanding that Apple pay 2.2 million won for each of them in compensation.

The legal action came after Apple admitted slowing older iPhone models to keep them run at an optimal performance and stop the batteries from dying.

The handset maker has formally apologized to the customers and is offering discounted battery replacement services for old iPhones, but such efforts have failed to quell customers’ discontent.

Go Gye-hyeon, head of the civic group that filed the lawsuit, said the incident has become a global hot issue and South Korean consumers have to make their voices heard.

“Apple has violated the business ethics and that has become a global focus. In such circumstances, South Korean consumers can’t stay put anymore. So we filed the class action lawsuit,” said Go.

He said that their focus is on whether or not the court will rule that Apple intentionally slowed down old devices to cope with aging batteries. Actually the fact that Apple did it intentionally or not won’t make a great impact on the sum of compensation, according to the country’s law concerned. They said once Apple’s move was judged as intentional, it will create a favorable media environment for the consumers, making it easier for customers to safeguard their legal rights and pressure Apple to shoulder more responsibilities.

It is not the last lawsuit against the U.S. tech giant in South Korea. A local law firm said lately that they would file a class action against Apple soon and the plaintiffs have so far numbered more than 350,000. Some other law firms also took similar cases. Thus, Apple is bound to face a number of global legal battles this year.


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