According to industry sources on December 2, Apple Korea began accepting applications for battery replacement for discounted prices. When a user of the iPhone 6 or later models visits an Apple service center, it costs the user 34,000 (US$30), down 66,000 won (US$59) from the original official price of 100,000 won (US$90) to replace an old battery with a new one at the center.
However, Apple is still showing an attitude to make profits such as receiving 34,000 won (US$30) for battery replacement as one new battery is below US$10 (about 11,000 won). It is pointed out that even in the midst of replacing batteries in the US, Apple did not officially announce the start of the battery replacement service, making Korean consumers say, “Apple is not sincere about coping with its battery scandal. The controversy does not show any sign of dying down as nearly 300,000 consumers showed will to join a class action suit against Apple in Korea.
Consumers are dissatisfied with the fact that they are willing to make a profit by replacing the battery even after deliberately manipulating product performance. According to a report published by global research firm IHS Markit in 2014, the costs of replacing an iPhone 6 battery and an iPhone 6 battery were US$3.6 and US$4.6, respectively. Although Apple is taking credit to itself for discounted batter replacements, consumers are complaining, running down Apple. “Discounted battery replacements are not enough compensations compared to the severity of the damage,” and “Apple is still interested in making money.”
As the controversy continues, consumers to file lawsuits against Apple are on a sharp rise. There are 15 lawsuits in five countries, including the United States, Israel, France, Korea and Australia. In France, criminal lawsuits against Apple were filed by consumer rights groups.
In the case of the Korean market, the number of consumers who expressed their intentions to participate in a class action lawsuit through law firm Hannuri topped 240,000 by noon of the day. If the current trend holds, the number will hit over 300,000 consumers. In particular, after Hannuri, the Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty (CUCS) decided to take a class action lawsuit against Apple.
"The average temperature in Korea is 25.9°C, so ambient temperature does not affect power supply for iPhone batteries," said a representative of the CUCS. “The iPhone models in question were released just one to three years ago so they are not inferior to new smartphone models. Apple claims that the company intentionally slowed down the performance of the iPhone due to concern that a low battery percentage may turn the device off.