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iPhone slowdown class action lawyers make 'inherently dangerous' demand for Apple to keep swapped batteries

Lawyers working on one of a number of class-action lawsuit proposals over the iPhone battery slowdown issue want Apple to retain the old batteries it swaps out in its battery replacement program, along with a request to hand over any diagnostic data Apple produces relating to the batteries.




Law firm DiCello Levitt & Casey filed a motion for a preliminary injunction at the Northern District Court of California on Tuesday, to force Apple into holding onto the old batteries, reports USA Today. While normally Apple would recycle and dispose of old components where possible, the filing demands Apple stops its usual procedures in order to preserve potential evidence against the company in the class action suits.

The batteries in question are removed and replaced with a new power source as part of Apple's discounted $29 replacement program, following Apple's confirmation that it purposefully slows down older iPhones with older batteries. While previously Apple required a battery diagnostic test before confirming a need to replace the battery, Apple is reportedly providing the replacements to anyone willing to pay the fee.

Tuesday's motion by lawyer Adam Levitt on behalf of the law firm was made because Apple needs to "maintain and preserve any data it collects through diagnostic testing in order to protect the claims of all affected consumers." The data has a "critical importance" to the lawsuit, Levitt claims, with the filing made due to the firm's need for more data to further prosecute the case.

"Apple has a policy of getting rid of batteries it pulls out of phones, and we want the diagnostics," Levitt told the report, adding that he is not seeking to prevent Apple from replacing batteries. "We want to make sure everything is preserved."

A source within Apple's corporate structure not authorized to speak on behalf of the company told AppleInsider that retaining the old batteries after replacement was "ridiculous" and "inherently dangerous" given the flammable nature of the electrolyte. The source also confirmed Apple retains all diagnostic reports relating to the batteries.

The revelation prompted many law firms to launch class action suits against Apple over the matter, with claims that Apple did not gain consent from its users to slow down their devices, as well as the potential harm to the iPhone's value. The controversy has also led to the French government opening up an investigation into allegations of planned obsolescence, as well as a related probe from the Korea Communications Commission.