Apple has initiated compensation in lawsuit over iPhone slowdown Image Credit: Shutterstock

Apple is compensating users of iPhone 6, 7, and SE series devices following the resolution of a class-action lawsuit accusing the tech giant of intentionally slowing down their devices.

The settlement, totalling $500 million, translates to approximately $90 per claimant.

The lawsuit, initiated in December 2017, addressed Apple’s acknowledgement of deliberately slowing down specific iPhones as they aged.

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Apple’s explanation attributed the slowdown to the diminishing performance of ageing batteries, aiming to extend the overall lifespan of the devices.

However, the company faced criticism for allegedly throttling performance without transparently informing its customers.

An Apple store in the Upper West side neighborhood of New York
An Apple store in the Upper West side neighborhood of New York. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Prolonged litigation

As part of the settlement, Apple denied any wrongdoing but expressed concerns about the escalating costs of prolonged litigation.

The company opted to settle in 2020, offering affected users a collective $500 million in compensation. While initial estimates suggested a payout as low as $25 per claimant, the actual compensation is nearly four times that amount, averaging around $90, as per a report in BBC.

The settlement required eligible users to register their grievances on a dedicated website before Oct. 6, 2020.

Ongoing legal challenges

In a similar legal battle in the UK, Apple faced a setback in November when it failed to block a mass action lawsuit involving an estimated 24 million iPhone users. The UK lawsuit parallels the accusations made in the US case.

Apple, maintaining its stance, has consistently deemed the lawsuits as baseless, asserting, “we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

The latest settlement marks a significant development in the ongoing legal challenges against Apple globally, shedding light on the complexities surrounding technology companies and their responsibilities to consumers.

Impacting users in the US
The class-action lawsuit included any US resident who owned an affected iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and/or iPhone SE that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later, and/or an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later, before December 21, 2017