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Apple to pay up to $500m to settle iPhone throttling case in US

by Mark Tyson on 3 March 2020, 11:11

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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Readers might remember that in late 2017 there was a media storm over the discovery that Apple was slowing down older iPhones with newer OS deliveries. Apple plead that it wasn't a sneaky way to encourage users to upgrade to its latest handsets - instead the CPU throttling on older iPhones was implemented to "smooth out" user battery life experiences, compensating for the battery degradation on older devices, it claimed.

Over two years later and Apple has just agreed to settle a US class action suit, according to documents released on Friday from the US District Court in San Jose, California. The ruling now needs rubber stamping by a judge, expected to be done on 3rd April. CNN reports that Apple will be paying out as much as US$500m. Owners of affected devices in the US will be able to claim about $25 per device, depending upon how many put a claim in, with a minimum of $310m earmarked to be distributed to consumers this way.

Expressing its sorrow for the older iPhone throttling 'deception', and to "regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple's intentions," Apple decided to implements a better value battery replacement program (down from $/£79 to $/£29 per device). Later it provided iOS software updates to improve iPhone owner awareness of battery health via information available in the settings.

Though Apple insisted that throttling older iPhones wasn't done to spur sales, alongside financials released a year later CEO Tim Cook admitted that company revenue was impacted by "significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements."

If you are a US resident you can file a settlement claim if you owned an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus or SE device bought before 21st December 2017. As mentioned previously, you can expect to get about $25 per device. Meanwhile a Reuters report says the class action lawyers are seeking $93 million, equal to 30 per cent of $310 million, in legal fees, plus up to $1.5 million for expenses.

HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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Well it's a deterrant I guess, not much for the consumer though.
peanuts fine as usual. It'll barely leave a dent to these behemothic companies.
Compensation designed so that the vast majority of folks simply won't bother.
This is just like the horsemeat lasagne again.

If Apple had put the option in to let the user choose, as they did in the end, and/or publicly stated it on, or before, release, they would have avoided a fine entirely!
So charge each customer $25 to throttle their devices… Real incentive there. No wonder we're screwed