Apple has tentatively agreed to pay out $25 per iPhone directly to US customers who were affected by the alleged throttling of older iPhone models, reports Bloomberg Law. Plaintiffs told a federal trial court that Apple will pay $500 million overall to settle the so-called ‘Batterygate’ dispute where it was accused of throttling the speeds of the iPhone 6, 6s, SE and 7 models.
Apple claims it did so without subterfuge in order to save battery life when those phones were updated to new, more taxing builds of its iOS software.
Bloomberg reported that:
“The proposed settlement covers all former or current U.S. owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE devices running iOS 10.2.1 or later (for iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE devices) or iOS 11.2 or later (for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices), and who ran these iOS versions before Dec. 21, 2017.
“Class members will receive $25 for each iPhone owned. However, that amount could increase or decrease depending in part on the number of approved claims, the filing says. None of the money will revert to Apple.”
The payments are only to US customers despite the throttling being a global issue. $50 million divided by $25 is 20 million – that’s a lot of customers.
The throttling changes were made for the iPhone 6, 6s and Se with iOS 10.2.1 and for the iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2. Apple claimed it has right to limit processor speeds in order to save battery life on older phones, but many people – including us – thought that Apple was simply slowing down older phones on purpose, perhaps to wrongfully encourage people to upgrade, therefore spending more money on new iPhones.
The fact Apple did not disclose it was doing this was the subject of class action lawsuits in the US in 2017 and 2018, resulting in this pay out to US customers.
Our colleagues on Macworld discuss this further in Why you should care about Apple’s $500m ‘Batterygate’ payout.