iPhone owners whose older phones were throttled may receive a payout from Apple. Last week, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila issued preliminary approval for a $500 million settlement with Apple. Davila called it “fair, reasonable and adequate,” according to court records.
What Is Throttling?
The “batterygate” settlement involves those with older iPhones that were throttled without the owner’s knowledge or consent. In the fall of 2016, customers began experiencing unexpected shutdowns with their iPhones switching off randomly and without warning. These older batteries could no longer handle the power demands of the processor which turned off the phone.
- Instead of acknowledging a problem with the battery, Apple opted to fix the iOS 10 issue by slowing the phone’s processor.
- Apple silently added throttling to iOS and encouraged all iPhone owners with eligible iPhones to install the update.
- Because Apple didn’t disclose this throttling to customers, many customers believed their older iPhone models needed replacement.
Several class action lawsuits were filed against Apple accusing the company of deliberately rendering older iPhones obsolete in order to force users into buying new ones.
Eventually, all these lawsuits were wrapped into one large lawsuit.
Throughout the proceedings, Apple claimed it only instituted the throttling to help iPhone owners avoid unexpected shutdowns.
“Apple vigorously disputes the claims alleged in the Actions and is entering into this Settlement to avoid burdensome and costly litigation.”Apple in a court filing
Who Could Be Compensated?
The lawsuit covers customers who used an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, or SE and installed an affected version of iOS before December 21, 2017.
Apple has agreed to pay between $310 million and $500 million to customers affected by this throttling. Each customer could receive as little as $25 or as much as $500 depending on how many people file a claim. It is estimated that millions of people are eligible for this compensation.
The settlement is waiting for the final approval, which may not happen until December, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
What Do I Do Now?
Customers who experienced throttling will have to wait until the settlement is given final approval later this year. Once approved, a public notice of the agreement will be issued, and a settlement administrator will begin contacting those eligible for a payment. There likely will be a website where people can register to find out if they qualify for a portion of the settlement.