"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices", said an Apple spokesperson.
Modern technology changes so rapidly that the fancy phones that debut on a yearly basis become obsolete pretty much just as quickly, with companies like Apple touting new hardware that is sometimes multiple times more powerful than even recent iterations.
Last year, Apple introduced a feature to "smooth out" spikes in demand for power to prevent iPhone 6 models from shutting down due to the cold or weak batteries, according to the California-based company.
According to Apple's statement, the batteries' inability to keep up with those demands resulted in "instantaneous peaks" which "can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components".
The lawsuit noted Apple could have also told consumers they could solve the problem by installing new batteries. The operating system slows down your device to prevent it from shutting down, Apple says, but only in cases of cold temperature, a low battery charge or very old batteries. An iPhone 8 is listed at around $700.
Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, executive director of the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University, said that rather than goading iPhone users to upgrade by making their older phones slower, Apple's move in fact helped consumers by allowing batteries to be used for a longer period. Five people spread across Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, and IN filed a separate class-action suit against Apple IN a Chicago court over the same issue.
They all asserted they wouldn't have made the additional purchases if they had known their phone issues could be solved by purchasing a new battery.
Rumors have persisted for years at tech news websites devoted to Apple products and among fans of the company's products that iPhone performance was being intentionally slowed, perhaps to push users to buy newer models.
The lawsuit does not specify the damages sought by the plaintiffs, but indicates plaintiffs will seek punitive damages and attorney fees.