The nearly six-year saga of unnecessary iPhone throttling due to dying batteries is coming to an end — at least in the US. A court in San Francisco (the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals) has now cleared the way for an out-of-court settlement – after two Apple smartphone owners withdrew their objection to the deal. This will now lead Apple to pay half a billion US dollars to the victims. It was actually agreed in the summer of 2020.
iPhone 6 and up
A total of three million people living in the United States contacted plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking compensation. The amount per person should be around 65 dollars. Apple agreed to pay between $310 million and $500 million, excluding legal fees (certainly not small). As is usual in such out-of-court settlements, the iPhone maker has pleaded not guilty.
The models in question in this case are iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus and SE devices running iOS 10.2.1 or higher and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus running iOS 11.2 or higher – they should already be running. From December 21, 2017. The amount paid is slightly higher than expected, and in 2020 it is assumed to be 25 dollars per victim.
Concealed asphyxia discovered
In 2017, Apple integrated a power throttle into its iOS operating system to prevent iPhones from accidentally shutting down unexpectedly when the battery is low. However, this was not clearly communicated, and only when frustrated iPhone owners documented the sometimes significant slowness of their devices through tests and benchmarks did Apple apologize and replace the battery at a rate of less than 30 euros a year. Since 2019, prices have risen again.
The issue led to a class action lawsuit filed in 2018, dubbed “Batterygate”. However, that’s not the only case, as California and two counties in the state sued Apple directly and received $113 million from it. Meanwhile, consumer advocates tried to get paid in Europe as well. Additionally, there was a lawsuit against Apple in Italy for planned obsolescence.
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