Future

Apple Could Pay Up to $500 Million for Slowing Down iPhones

The multibillion-dollar technology company’s past attempts to smooth over “Batterygate” have not satisfied consumers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone 7 at the product launch held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. | Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone 7 at the product launch held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. | Getty Images

Apple, a multibillion-dollar technology company, has tentatively agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over claims that it slowed down older iPhones. 

According to court documents shared by the Verge, Apple could pay users up to $25 per affected device. The settlement agreement released Friday reportedly took months to work out and will be considered by a judge on April 3.

The settlement applies to models 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE devices that ran certain iOS versions before December 21, 2017.

Since 2017, Apple has been scrutinized for “Batterygate” — which started when users on Reddit began claiming that the company’s software updates hurt iPhones’ battery lives, forcing them to buy new devices. The company later acknowledged the problem, admitting that it had slowed older models’ performance to recoup for depleted batteries.

“These are tough cases, particularly when you have a product that doesn’t just fail to work altogether,” Jonathan Selbin, a lawyer, told Wired. For the plaintiffs, “this seems to me like a pretty good result,” Selbin added. 

Other technology writers have noted similar slowdown problems with devices like iPads. Such accusations fit into a larger narrative about Apple, which annually rolls out new products designed to entice consumers — when their old devices could be perfectly fine.

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