Apple Settles Lawsuit Over iPhone Performance: Compensation for Users

Apple Settles Lawsuit Over iPhone Performance: Compensation for Users

Apple, the tech giant, has reached a settlement in a US lawsuit that requires the company to pay a minimum of $310 million and up to $500 million in compensation to around 100 million iPhone users.

This settlement comes after Apple lost the lawsuit in the US. Payouts are expected to begin soon, with each US claimant receiving approximately $65.

The lawsuit revolved around the issue termed “batterygate,” where older iPhone users alleged that Apple deliberately slowed down their devices.

Despite denying the allegations, Apple entered into a settlement to avoid lengthy and costly litigation.

The US District Court for Northern California clarified that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by Apple.

Notably, the compensation is allocated per owned model rather than per customer, potentially making early adopters and those with multiple phones eligible for multiple payments.

This case’s action and the exact compensation amount still await confirmation by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Apple Faces Similar Lawsuit in the UK

While the US settlement won’t directly result in payouts for UK consumers, it could indicate a potential success for a similar lawsuit in the UK.

This lawsuit, led by consumer rights campaigner Justin Gutmann, alleges that Apple intentionally slowed down older iPhones through a software update.

The affected models include the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Gutmann’s case in the UK remains ongoing, but the US lawsuit’s settlement suggests that UK consumers might also be entitled to compensation.

If successful, this could lead to millions of payments in the UK, distributed similarly to the US case.

The Background: Throttling and Batterygate

Apple’s software update, introduced in 2017, aimed to enhance iPhone performance and prevent unexpected shutdowns.

However, users couldn’t disable this feature, and Apple didn’t adequately communicate that it would slow down their phones.

This practice, known as throttling, raised concerns about Apple’s intention to push customers towards purchasing newer models.

Justin Gutmann’s claim asserts that Apple’s software update deliberately reduced the performance of older iPhones.

He argues that Apple concealed this tool in software updates, leading to devices slowing down by up to 58%.

Gutmann’s case seeks redress for millions of iPhone users in the UK and aims to encourage major companies to reconsider such conduct.

Implications for UK Consumers and Apple’s Response

While the US settlement won’t lead to direct payouts for UK consumers, it could hint at the outcome of Gutmann’s UK case.

If the UK lawsuit succeeds, it might result in similar compensation to that awarded in the US.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal would determine compensation per owned model, potentially benefiting early adopters and frequent upgraders.

Apple maintained its position that it never intended to shorten product lifespans or degrade user experiences to prompt upgrades.

The company had previously apologized for communication shortcomings and reduced the price of battery replacements in 2018.

Apple’s response to the settlement remains undisclosed.

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