Australia's consumer watchdog sues Apple Inc alleging it used a software update to disable iPhones which had cracked screens fixed by third parties. Sonia Legg reports.
It's happened to many of us. But a cracked screen is a particularly expensive problem for Apple device owners. The US tech giant likes to keep all repairs in house and charges a premium for the privilege. That right is about to be put to the test. Australia's consumer watchdog has filed a lawsuit alleging Apple used a software update to disable iphones which had screens fixed by third parties. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Apple is able to charge premium prices and have wide margins which is why Apple stock has done so well over the past few years. If other companies, other suppliers are able to cut in, affect the quality even, that's what Apple is really worried about here and this could open up other other areas perhaps more important than just repairs." Hundreds of smartphones and tablets were allegedly "bricked" by Apple between September 2014 and February 2016, according to the court filing. Customers who downloaded software updates and then connected their devices to their computers received a message saying it "could not be restored." The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking injunctions, corrective notices and costs. The lawsuit comes a week after the same watchdog granted Apple a win. It denied Australians banks the right to introduce a mobile payment system to rival its Apple Wallet.