While they certainly won’t be leaving their position at the top of the market anytime soon, tech giant Apple is in a complex position ahead of 2018. Despite a comparative lack of interest in its latest line of smartphones, the company dominated holiday sales according to device activation figures. Apple products accounted for around 44 percent of all device activations, trouncing second-place Samsung who accounted for about a quarter of all holiday sales. The iPhones 6 and 7 more or less carried the company through the holiday season, accounting for a combined 30 percent of their holiday activations.
That said, it isn’t all good news for the company. Last week it was revealed that Apple was intentionally slowing older iPhones, a suspicion long held by users who chose to stick with older iPhones rather than upgrading to the latest models. The company has maintained its position that, rather than being a move designed to force users to shell out the cash for upgrades, the largely maligned secret feature was designed to keep phones working despite the natural degradation of their lithium batteries. Naysayers view the move as a clear example of planned obsolescence, a design principle wherein a product is manufactured with an intended lifespan in order to pull in long-term sales with later generations of the product.
Users don’t seem to be buying the company’s rationale, as Apple is now facing eight separate lawsuits over the scandal. The initial two cases were filed in district courts in both California and Illinois, but these have since been joined with legal actions from New York and Israel. The lawsuits make a range of claims, with one case accusing the company of seeking “to mask the battery defect” rather than fixing it “by providing a free battery replacement.”
For one of the cases, the company will once again face off against Jeffrey Fazio, an attorney who famously handled a $53 million case against the company in 2013. The settlement was over the way the company handled its warranty claims, which proved problematic for many iPhone users. The lawsuits have a number of demands, with some seeking reimbursement, damages, and an order to prevent the company from issuing similar software updates in the future. Apple phones known to have included the controversial update include the iPhone 6 and 6s, the iPhone 7, and the iPhone SE. The class-action suits could include millions of users as news of the update spreads.