Towards the end of 2017, Apple admitted that it had been deliberately and secretly slowing older models of iPhone in order to eke out extra life from their aging batteries. Understandably, the company’s customers weren’t happy and the stealthy throttling led to several lawsuits.
Now, Apple has filed a settlement in a California court, agreeing to pay up to $500 million (with a minimum of $310 million) in the form of payments to affected US customers.
This includes $25 to anyone who owned one of the affected iPhones (listed below) and sums of either $1,500 or $3,500 to members of the class action lawsuit. The settlement still needs to be approved by a US District Judge before it can be confirmed.
These amounts will vary depending on how many people claim, as individual payouts will decrease if they exceed the maximum total of $500 million. However, if fewer people claim, the $310 million will go further for each individual (after $93 million is taken off for legal fees, of course).
Affected smartphones are considered any of the following, so long as they were running iOS 10.2.1 or later or, in the case of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it could have been running iOS 11.2 or later so long as it was doing so before December 21, 2017.
If you live outside of the US, it's unlikely you'll be able to claim any compensation for this issue. This is a US focused legal case, and this settlement is currently only for those there meaning for now it's unlikely to be offered in other countries.
The case against Apple claimed that, due to the processor speeds slowing, consumers were being led to believe their current smartphone was nearing its end of life earlier than it actually was.
This prompted them to upgrade to a newer model, at considerable cost, when they could have simply replaced the battery had they known that was the cause of the issue.
The settlement allows Apple to deny that it did anything wrong in the legal sense, and the individual compensation has been described as “fair, reasonable, and adequate” by lawyers representing the consumers, according to Reuters.