Labaton Sucharow LLP Announces Expanded Securities Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Apple Inc. and Certain Executives

by Labaton Sucharow

May 24, 2019

Labaton Sucharow LLP (“Labaton Sucharow”) announces that on May 24, 2019, it filed a securities class action lawsuit, captioned Steamfitters Local 449 Pension Plan v. Apple Inc., No. 19-cv-2891 (N.D. Cal.) (the “Action”), on behalf of its client Steamfitters Local 449 Pension Plan (“Steamfitters”) against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) (“Apple” or the “Company”) and certain officers and directors (collectively, “Defendants”).  The Steamfitters Action asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, on behalf of all those who purchased or otherwise acquired Apple securities during the period from August 1, 2017 through January 2, 2019, inclusive (the “Class Period”), who were damaged thereby (the “Class”).

The Action expands upon the substantially related cases City of Roseville Employees Retirement System v. Apple Inc., No. 19-cv-2033 (N.D. Cal.), asserting Exchange Act claims on behalf of all purchasers of Apple common stock between November 2, 2018 and January 2, 2019; and Reddy v. Apple Inc., No. 19-cv-2615 (N.D. Cal.), asserting Exchange Act claims on behalf of all purchasers of Apple securities between November 2, 2018 and January 2, 2019.  Pursuant to the notice published on April 16, 2019 in connection with the first-filed case, as required by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, investors wishing to serve as Lead Plaintiff are required to file a motion for appointment as Lead Plaintiff by no later than June 17, 2019.

Apple is a multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services.  The Company’s most profitable product is the iPhone smartphone, which since 2012 has represented more than 40 percent of the Company’s revenue.  China is the Company’s third-largest market, and most important growth market, yet is susceptible to geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty and increased competition from emerging Chinese smartphone manufacturers. 

On January 23, 2017, Apple released a software update which secretly slowed the performance of certain iPhones with battery-related issues.  Throughout 2017, these undisclosed intentional slowdowns led consumers to prematurely believe their devices had become obsolete, leading them to upgrade their iPhones at a fast rate.  Specifically, beginning in August 1, 2017, Apple began to report a record number of iPhone upgrades.  In December 2017, Apple revealed it had been intentionally slowing down certain iPhones, also disclosing that the problem was battery-related, as opposed to device-related.  Following this revelation, Apple offered discounted replacement batteries throughout 2018 in light of public outrage.

The Steamfitters Action alleges that during the Class Period, Defendants misled investors by making materially false and misleading statements as each of the Defendants knew and failed to disclose or deliberately disregarded that: (1) the intentional slowdown of certain model iPhones, unsustainably boosted iPhone sales during 2017 and cannibalized future sales; (2) the Company’s replacement battery program during 2018 (enacted as a direct and primary response to the Company’s intentional phone throttling during 2017) was negatively impacting iPhone sales; and (3) the U.S.-China trade war, declining Chinese economy, and strength of the U.S. dollar had negatively impacted demand for iPhones in Greater China.

On January 2, 2019, after the close of trading, for the first time in fifteen years Apple slashed its prior quarterly revenue forecast for its already complete first fiscal quarter 2019.  On this date, Defendants disclosed that the Company’s revenues for its first fiscal quarter 2019 were only $84 billion, substantially below the expected range of $89 billion to $93 billion the Company had announced eight weeks earlier.  Defendants attributed these results to declining iPhone sales, in part, due to more consumers purchasing discounted replacement batteries in lieu of upgrading their iPhones, and the decelerating Chinese economy and U.S.-China trade war impacting iPhone demand in Greater China.  On this news, Apple common stock fell precipitously by more than $15 per share, or more than 9 percent, to close at $142.19 per share on January 3, 2019.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired Apple securities during the Class Period and were damaged thereby, you are a member of the “Class” and may be able to seek appointment as Lead Plaintiff.  Lead Plaintiff motion papers must be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California no later than June 17, 2019.  The Lead Plaintiff is a court-appointed representative for absent members of the Class.  You do not need to seek appointment as Lead Plaintiff to share in any Class recovery in the Action.  If you are a Class member and there is a recovery for the Class, you can share in that recovery as an absent Class member.  You may retain counsel of your choice to represent you in the Action.

If you would like to consider serving as Lead Plaintiff or have any questions about this lawsuit, you may contact Francis P. McConville, Esq. of Labaton Sucharow, at (800) 321-0476, or via email at

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