Firm involved in iBooks pricing case takes on Apple anew

(Reuters/Robert Galbraith)Apple is facing another lawsuit in relation to its move to slow down older iPhones because of aging batteries.

Apple continues to face more challenges over its iPhone battery issue, as a familiar opponent has joined the list of groups filing a legal case against the tech giant.

Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple after the latter allegedly and secretly installed a feature that deliberately slowed down the performance of older iPhone models. Hans Berman, incidentally, was also the law firm that took on and won the $450 million iBooks price-fixing case back in 2015, 9to5Mac reported.

The firm filed the case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California last Friday, with the suit claiming that Apple attempted to "cover up" its move to deliberately slow down previous iPhone models. Moreover, the suit also claimed that the tech giant only decided to come out with an apology and statement after the press and the public's complaints were already making an "uproar."

"Like every vendor, Apple has duties of truthfulness and candor to its customers. It also has the duty not to purposely degrade the performance of its customers' phones, and certainly not without their knowledge or permission," wrote the law firm on the lawsuit.

"Yet Apple has violated these duties by arrogating to itself the right to throttle the performance of millions of iPhones under at least three common conditions, such that its behavior will likely affect millions of consumers," it added.

Furthermore, the law firm also accused Apple of dishonesty in regard to the effects of the software update. "What's more, Apple acted by misrepresentation and deception. Consumers did not know of, or consent, to Apple's decision to slow their devices," the details of the lawsuit went on to say.

In addition, the firm also accused Apple of leaving its users very limited options, as some were forced to buy new batteries worth $79 before the company rolled out its iPhone battery replacement program.

Meanwhile, Barclays analysts noted last week that Apple's battery replacement program may affect its iPhone sales for 2018. Instead of buying the latest iPhone model to replace their old, slowed-down ones, some users may just opt for the $29 replacement batteries currently offered by Apple, Reuters reported.