Australian users have a bit of a DIY mentality - like New Zealanders they can't see the point of paying a fortune for something that they can get a mate to fix cheaper. Normally they would only take it in to Apple if the problem cannot be fixed with masking tape and number eight fencing wire. Apple has a huge problem with this. It makes a fortune charging fees to have its spotty blue shirts repairing things that most uses could fix with a screwdriver and WD40.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Apple thought it would be a rather super, cool, and revolutionary thing to brick iPhones which had not been repaired by its Genii. That way users would have to return the phone to be fixed.
Australia's consumer watchdog has sued Apple claiming that the bricking happened in a software update which had cracked screens fixed by third parties and then refused to unlock them on the grounds that customers had had the devices serviced by non-Apple repairers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told the court that consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law exist independently of any manufacturer's warranty and are not extinguished simply because a consumer has goods repaired by a third party.
Of course Apple is not saying anything. We have no doubt that its acolytes really believe that they are saving the customers' souls from the dangers of cheap repairs. Everyone knows that all the phones don't really belong to the users but are given in a sacred trust to the user for large amounts of cash on the assumption that they will never touch without the blessing of the church.
The regulator said that between September 2014 and February 2016, Apple customers who downloaded software updates then connected their devices to their computers received a message saying the device "could not be restored and the device had stopped functioning".
Apple engaged in "misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations to consumers" about its software updates and customers' rights to have their products repaired by the company, the commission said.
As well as fines, the ACCC said it was seeking injunctions, declarations, compliance program orders, corrective notices, and costs.