Technology

Apple fined $9 million by Australian court over allegedly refusing to fix faulty iPhones and iPads

Shehryar Ahmed Written by Shehryar Ahmed · 1 min read>

The Federal Court of Australia has handed Apple a 9 million (Equivalent of US$6.5 million) fine for refusing to fix faulty iPhones and iPads. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took the Cupertino tech giant to court last year after numerous consumers filed complaints about Apple refusing to fix their phones.

The issue revolves around Apple refusing to fix iPhones and iPads that had been repaired by third-parties. Back in 2016, users who had faulty home buttons/Touch ID fixed by third-party repairers received a huge shock when Apple released an iOS update that disabled their iPhones. After the phones got disabled, users were shown that the phone is suffering from “Error 53”. Apple commented that Error 53 was meant at safeguarding user security by keeping them safe against third-party components.

Users whose phones had Error 53 went to Apple retailers and authorized repair centers around Australia, only to be told that their phones cannot be repaired. Apple representatives told consumers that their phones (which were under warranty) cannot be repaired due to third-party interference unless they pay for it. A commissioner of the ACCC commented that,

“The court declared the mere fact that an iPhone or iPad had been repaired by someone other than Apple did not, and could not, result in the consumer guarantees ceasing to apply, or the consumer’s right to a remedy being extinguished.”

Apple Users complained to the ACCC about this, who launched an investigation against Apple and later on filed a lawsuit against Apple in the Federal Court of Australia. When the investigation was initiated, Apple released a new update that reverted the previous update and unbricked the affected iPhones. Additionally, Apple also launched an outreach program, compensating nearly 5000 consumers that had been affected by Error 53.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Apple’s refusal to repair the affected phones violated Australian Consumer Law. Apple has vowed to train its staff and to improve its return policy so that similar occurrences are avoided in the future.

It’s safe to say, however, that it isn’t all gloom for Apple in legal affairs. Recently, it won a legal battle against Samsung in a copyrights infringement case that has been going on for the last 7 years. Samsung has been ordered to pay $533 million in damages to the Cupertino giant by a US state court.

Written by Shehryar Ahmed
He covers international technology and consumer products for TechJuice. Also the Partnerships Lead, directly handles all university and college affiliations. Contact him at shehryar.ahmed@techjuice.pk Tweets @shehryarahmed0 Profile