Apple has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit related to it silently slowing down older iPhones over time. The firm will pay a minimum of $310 million should the settlement be approved.
The settlement was first reported by Reuters, and Apple hasn’t yet publicly commented. According to that publication, Apple has agreed to pay $25 per affected iPhone and that sum could be adjusted up or down depending on the number of eligible iPhones. As part of the settlement, Apple will not admit to wrongdoing and will instead claim it is settling only to “avoid the burdens and costs of litigation.”
The settlement impacts U.S. owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus, and SE who purchased their device before the end of 2017. Lawyers representing the consumers impacted by this behavior had asked for a per-iPhone payment of $25 to $46, and they described the proposed settlement as “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” Those lawyers are seeking nearly $100 million in legal fees and expenses.
As you may recall, Apple admitted that it was throttling the performance of older iPhones in December 2017, but it contended that it did so to preserve battery life, and not to help convince users to upgrade to a new iPhone, which was of course the real reason. But it did issue a public apology, and it offered to replace batteries in older iPhones for just $29 for a limited time. Then, in January 2018, the firm revealed that it would give users the option to throttle performance as batteries aged.
The settlement proposal needs to be approved by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California.