U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila has given preliminary approval to Apple’s plan of paying $500 million to settle a lawsuit which accused it of secretly throttling older iPhones. The Cupertino company had agreed to pay $500 million to settle the lawsuit back in March itself.
The hearing was held over Zoom due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The judge also informed all the parties in the case about extending the final approval deadlines by a few weeks due to coronavirus. The final settlement hearing will now take place in December.
Apple was subjected to a number of lawsuits after it was revealed that it was slowing down older iPhones via software updates. All these lawsuits were consolidated into one and passed to Judge Davila in 2018.
As a part of the class action lawsuit, members would receive $25 from Apple for their iPhone. If the payouts, attorney fees, and other expenses don’t add up to at least $310 million, the class action lawsuit members will receive up to $500 each until the minimum settlement amount is reach. So far, the class counsel Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy LLP are seeking $93 million in attorney fees and $1.5 million in expenses. The settlement is only applicable for individuals owning older iPhones starting from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 7 Plus and not newer devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone XS. Since Apple has the email IDs of almost all class members, attorneys of both sides expect the claims rate to be high.
It was discovered at the end of 2017 that Apple was intentionally slowing down older iPhones with iOS updates. This led to a huge uproar among iPhone users as they were kept in the dark about this from the company. By slowing down older iPhones, Apple was forcing owners of older iPhones to upgrade to new devices. The move led Apple to apologize profusely and launch a $29 discounted battery replacement program through 2018. The company also introduced the Battery Health feature as a part of the iOS 11.3 update in March 2018 following the criticism. Apple has already been fined $27 million by France for slowing down older iPhones.[Via Law360]