Judge approves Apple’s payout of $500 million for secretly throttling older iPhones

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Apple’s offer to pay $500 million to litigants over ‘Secretly Throttling’ older iPhones accepted by California federal judge

Swing back to September 2017. Apple had just released the version iOS 10.2.1 for its iPhones and all hell broke loose. Older iPhone users started complaining that their iPhones were working slower than earlier. The issue affected all older iPhone users and the matter finally landed in a U.S. court.  The iPhone throttling was also investigated by Primate Labs founder John Poole when he noticed lower than expected benchmark scores.

Apple iOS 10.2.1 changelog didn’t mention the throttling app or how it affects the iPhones. After the outcry among old iPhone users, Apple launched a battery repair program that dropped the price of battery replacements to $29 through the end of 2018. Apple also released an updated version of iOS, v 11.3 with a feature that allows users to see the current health of their batteries and turned off the performance management feature by default.

However, that didn’t stop older iPhone users from suing Apple for performance breach. In all, iPhone users filed dozens of lawsuits that were ultimately consolidated into one class-action suit in May 2018 to be heard by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila.

The suits generally allege that Apple released a software update that diminished the battery life of older iPhones, just to make them buy newer iPhone models. The bugs allegedly prompted some customers to spend hundreds of dollars on new phones, the suits claim.

Apple proposed a meditation with the litigants last year. The litigants informed the court that they had agreed to the $500 million payout offered by Apple in February.  Now Davila in a Zoom hearing granted preliminary approval to Apple’s offer to pay $500 million to the affected iPhone users.

Under the proposed deal, Apple has agreed to pay up to $500 million in total, depending on the amount of iPhone users to participate in the deal, according to court filings. All iPhone users who were affected by the bug would receive $25 each for their phones. If the payouts, attorney fees, and expenses don’t add up to at least $310 million, the litigants will receive up to $500 apiece until that minimum settlement amount is reached.

Apple’s counsel, Christopher Chorba of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, said the settlement only covers class members in the U.S. Apple would not have to pay iPhone users outside the United States. Chorba also stressed that the settlement only applies to individuals who performed certain software updates on their Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE devices.

If you are U.S. citizen who used ‌‌iPhone‌ 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE and upgraded to the buggy iOS v 10.2.1 in 2017, you stand to get $25 from Apple.

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