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Apple Agrees To Settle Claims That It’s Slowing Down Older iPhones With $500 Million

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Apple is now willing to settle with about $500 million after admitting to secretly slowing down older iPhones. The lawsuit claimed that it did this as it launched new models, in order to induce owners to buy replacement phones or batteries.


The fine could amount to just $25 (£20) for each affected user, depending on how many users make a claim with a minimum total payout of $310 million. Apple still denies any wrongdoing in the case but is settling in part because of the cost of continuing litigation.


The company explained that it slows down some models as they age only because the phones’ battery performance diminishes over time. See our article on Apple’s defense.


Apple further said that the move is to “prolong the life” of the devices. Then the company started offering discount battery replacement, which solved the issue.


Apple to settle $500 million
Apple says the move is to prolong the life of the phones.


The practice was confirmed after a Reddit user shared performance tests, suggesting that his iPhone 6S had slowed down considerably as it aged. But suddenly sped up again after the battery had been replaced.


“I used my brother’s iPhone 6 Plus, and his was faster than mine? This is when I knew something was wrong,” wrote TeckFire.

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Technology website Geekbench then followed up the observation by analysing several iPhones running different versions of the iOS operating system. They found out some of the iPhones indeed appear to have been deliberately slowed down.

Apple to pay legal fees in addition to the $500 million settlement

The settlement covers all US owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus or SE that ran the iOS 10.2.1 or a later operating system. US owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017 are also included in the settlement.


The “named plaintiffs,” those who put their names down on the class action on behalf of all iPhone owners, will receive $1,500 in settlement. Those who gave evidence in the case will receive $3,500.


The lawyers will also ask the court to grant them $93m in “reasonable attorneys’ fees” plus another $1.5m in expenses.


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