Apple agrees to pay $500m over 'iPhone slowdown' lawsuit

Towards the end of 2017, Apple fessed up, admitting that it had been deliberately and secretly slowing older models of iPhone in order to eke out extra life from their aging batteries. If approved, the final bill would be between $310 million and $500 million.

The settlement, which was disclosed on Friday night, still requires approval by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California. The deal took months to negotiate and would resolve dozens of class action lawsuits Apple faces.

According to the report, the settlement covers anyone in the United States who did or still does own an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, or iPhone SE running iOS 10.2.1 or later, as well as iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners running iOS 11.2 or later. As part of this settlement, Apple will pay around $25 per iPhone to consumers.

In 2017, when the lawsuit was filed, Apple admitted that it had limited the processing power of certain phones following a software update. While the proposed award only applies to United States customers, the settlement says consumers outside of the country still have the right to file legal claims against Apple to pay up over Batterygate.

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A public website will also be created so that applicable iPhone owners can apply to receive the $25 reward.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Per the agreement, non-U.S. iPhone owners' claims "will not be released" and they may pursue their own claims.

Apple had earlier admitted that it lowers the clock speed of the processor on iPhones when the battery health degrades but had not mentioned it anywhere and customers were not informed that the company intentionally slows down the iPhone. The attorneys representing plaintiffs in the class-action suit intend to seek up to $93 million as "reasonable attorneys' fees" plus a maximum of $1.5 million for out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Delia Davidson