The Nexus 6P, a smartphone developed by Google and manufactured by Huawei, was released in 2015 to positive reviews for its feature set and its affordability. However, consumers who have purchased the phone are becoming increasingly aware of a significant error in the phone’s design: some units have a habit of unexpectedly switching themselves off, even when the reported battery level is not low. Although Google and Huawei are aware of this problem, they have not yet revealed plans to address it; instead, each company blames the other for the presence of the issue. Now, the law firm Chimicles & Tikellis LLP (C&T) has announced that they have begun an investigation into the issue in preparation for a potential class-action lawsuit.
The investigation is focused on two separate, but related, issues: the first is early shutdown, and the second is boot-looping. Early shutdown occurs when the phone reports having anywhere between ten and sixty percent battery remaining, but shuts itself down regardless, requiring being plugged in order to start up again. The second, more serious issue, occurs when the phone gets stuck in a process of repeatedly turning itself off and on again continually, stopping only when the phone’s battery is depleted; this issue is thought to be caused by a hardware problem.
In advising its users on how to deal with the issue, Google advises that those afflicted should try reverting to previous versions of Android, performing a factory reset on the phone, and contacting Huawei for the phone to be repaired. But, according to the law firm’s announcement, none of these proposed solutions actually fix the problem, as the first two strategies can be ineffective, and Huawei is reluctant to service phones that have what they perceive to be a software issue. The law firm’s announcement provides contact information for affected owners of the Nexus 6P and encourages them to get in touch with one of the firm’s lawyers.
The fact that the Nexus 6P’s issues are significant enough to prompt an investigation for potential class-action lawsuit points to a significant problem with the public perception of the quality of Android devices, namely that relative to their competitor, the iPhone, they are thought of as being prone to error and difficult to use. The fact that this problem has arisen in the Nexus 6P does nothing but rub salt in the wound. As the Nexus 6P is manufactured by Huawei in close collaboration with Google, the developer of the Android operating system, one of the phone’s selling points is that it is less likely to be prone to error and quicker to receive updates than Android phones created by third-party manufacturers. Instead, what consumers are now witnessing is an unproductive game of finger-pointing between the two technology companies, who are supposed to be working with one another rather than blaming one another, which reflects poorly on the business practices of both companies.
It’s worth noting that the Nexus 6P is not the only smartphone that is being reported as having these issues. Users of many LG phones have observed similar problems of their phones shutting down early and bootlooping. Like Google and Huawei, LG has acknowledged the problem, but their record on fixing the issue is less than stellar. As a result, LG is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of users of the LG G4, the LG G5, the V10, the V20, and the Nexus 5. Though the extent to which users of these phones will actually stand to benefit from the results of lawsuits of this sort is unclear, the results of Chimicles & Tikellis LLP (C&T)’s investigation will determine whether a similar lawsuit against Google will come to fruition.
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