A group of five European consumer organizations filed class-action suits in Belgium and Spain and plans to sue in Italy and Portugal over the coming weeks as well, Euroconsumers said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The lawsuits concern users of iPhones 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus, the group said.
The lawsuits mirror U.S. cases over claims that the company misled consumers about iPhone battery power and software updates that slowed the performance of the devices. The California-based company last month agreed to pay $113 million to settle a case with multiple U.S. regulators while customers are seeking approval from a U.S. court for a class-action settlement that could be worth as much as $500 million.
“Consumers are increasingly upset by products wearing out too quickly, the iPhone 6 models being a very concrete example of that,” said Els Bruggeman, head of policy and enforcement at Euroconsumers. “Not only does it cause frustration and financial harm, from an environmental point of view it is also utterly irresponsible.”
The group sent a cease and desist letter to Apple in July, asking it to stop a practice that allegedly forces users to install updates which then slow down their phones so much that they become obsolete and a new model is needed.
Apple spokespeople didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The Financial Times previously reported on the European lawsuits.