iPhone User? You Might Be Owed a Settlement Payment

Posted on July 14, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, iOS with 12 Comments

Apple iPhone 7 Preview

In March, Apple agreed to pay $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit for iPhone throttling. And now it’s time to request your settlement payment.

As you may recall, Apple was found to be silently throttling the performance of iPhones in December 2017. It claimed that it was doing so to preserve battery life, but combined with its policy of only optimizing new iOS releases with new iPhone hardware, it’s clear that the firm was really trying to entice users to buy new iPhones. Since then, Apple has apologized and it now works to ensure that new iOS releases work well on all supported iPhones.

This wasn’t enough for Apple’s customers, of course, and a series of lawsuits were combined into a class-action lawsuit that the firm finally settled in March 2020. Under the terms of the settlement, Apple will pay up to $500 million in damages. Better still, impacted customers will be paid $25 for each affected iPhone they own(ed).

And if you are one of those customers—as both Brad and I are—and live in the United States, you can now claim your $25 (or more, if you owned multiple impacted iPhones).

You can submit your claim here.

The fine print: You must live in the U.S. You must have owned an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, and/or SE running iOS 10.2.1 or later before December 21, 2017, or an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus running iOS 11.2 or later before the same date. The filing deadline is October 6, 2020, and there will be a final hearing on December 4, 2020 to determine whether the settlement is approved. So it will be several months before you get a check.

Still. Totally worth doing.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “iPhone User? You Might Be Owed a Settlement Payment”

  1. jimchamplin

    Oh. Yaaaay. $25. For something I never even knew was a problem until the news stories.

    I had - and still have - a 6S and it wasn’t the battery that made me retire it from everyday use, but instead the Lightning port grew flaky and would only intermittently charge.

    Can I also get $25 for that? $50 seems more worth the effort. $25 won’t even get some pizzas delivered anymore. Oh, wait... lawyers didn’t get 48.9 million over broken Lightning ports.

  2. jtdennis

    I had multiple phones between myself and my wife. You have to do a claim for each one. This will be a boring way to spend the morning.

  3. skolvikings

    $25 actually doesn't seem totally worth doing. Especially since this requires the device serial numbers and a bunch of forms filled out. But I checked out the claim form anyway.

    You have to agree to the following:



    I experienced diminished performance on my iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, or SE device when running iOS 10.2.1 or later before December 21, 2017 OR my iPhone 7 or 7 Plus when running iOS 11.2 or later before December 21, 2017.

    By checking this box, I declare under penalty of perjury that the information above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand that my claim is subject to audit, review, and validation using all available information.


    I didn't experience diminished performance. I guess i could just say I did anyway, but integrity matters to me. So no $25 for me.

  4. beckoningeagle

    You need to enter the serial number, or find it in their database. Considering that a large majority of people already moved on to newer phones, this might be a bit problematic.

  5. RobertJasiek

    Just curious: what about US-dependent territories, such as Puerto Rico?

  6. JH_Radio

    I don't have my 6+ phone anymore, and honestly I had no idea performance was even a problem until I heard about it on the news and even then I still have no idea.

  7. glenn8878

    It searched and found only one iPhone. I need to dig up the other 3 iPhone serial numbers.

  8. SvenJ

    "it’s clear that the firm was really trying to entice users to buy new iPhones". Really? The alternative to throttling performance mitigating aging battery capacity was the phone shutting down unexpectedly in the middle of the afternoon. That wouldn't have enticed users to buy a new phone? What they apologized for was not giving the user a choice between two undesirable options. Imagine a user switch to choose between poor performance or unexpected shutdowns. It was an engineering decision to throttle performance to ensure adequate daily life. Yea, maybe I drank the Kool-Aid, but there are probably easier ways to get folks to upgrade.

    • IanYates82

      In reply to SvenJ:

      What is correctly perceived as gradually reduced battery life is often a sign of a device "getting old". Sudden shutdowns generate definite events you notice, visit the store about, complain with a specific issue, etc.

      Would the phone really have just "shut off"? I've heard that, but we don't have that with other electronics like laptops, tablets, etc when their batteries get old. Some old laptops do have batteries that drain very quickly, but I could see the battery drain and could choose to throttle, or - shock! - replace the battery myself :)

      Anyway, above anything it was the subtle nudge to make a device gradually slow down, and thus feel "old", without indicating that it was happening or why, that's got them in trouble. Their crowd (kool-aid drinkers, as you say) don't complain about much and justify an awful lot (as many members of tribes do) so I don't see why they had to be so secretive about it.

  9. spullum

    Thanks Paul, a great way to get Apple to pay for another year of Thurrott :)

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