Apple has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a long-running class-action lawsuit in the US that accused the company of “secretly” throttling older iPhone models.
- First reported by Reuters, Apple maintains it hasn’t done any legal wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement.
- You can read the settlement on Scribd, thanks to MacRumors.
- While awaiting expected final approval, the proposed terms show that Apple will likely end up paying (some, not all) iPhone users $25 per affected device:
- “Settlement Class Members will receive $25.00 for each iPhone owned, the amount of which may increase or decrease depending on the amount of any Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, Named Plaintiff Service Awards, notice expenses, and the aggregate value of Approved Claims.”
Who may claim?
- Assuming terms are accepted and not changed, the class includes former and current “U.S. owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus or SE that ran the iOS 10.2.1 or later operating system. It also covers U.S. owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017.”
So why did Apple settle?
- Reuters reported that Apple “settled the nationwide case to avoid the burdens and costs of litigation.”
- But remember the backstory here.
- Outcry on Reddit prompted the likes of benchmarkers Geekbench to detail slowdowns it saw on iPhones between iOS updates, which Apple indicated was down to managing battery degradation on older iPhones, aiming to improve battery life.
- But this played into “planned obsolescence” arguments around Apple updates, the thought being that Apple was trying to encourage users to buy new by intentionally slowing older devices.
- While that still seems untrue, following the outcry over slow iPhones due to iOS updates between iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2, Apple apologized and lowered the price for replacement batteries to $29 from $79.
- It also gave iPhone owners the option to turn off “throttling” in a later software update.
- France also fined Apple €25 million for the issue.