Apple Ready to Pay $500 Million to Settle iPhone Throttling Lawsuit in the U.S.

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 2 Mar 2020

Apple has decided to end litigation by coughing up $500 million. The Cupertino company was accused of deliberately slowing down iPhones so as to force buyers into buying new batteries. The company has denied any wrongdoing but has agreed to pay damages amounting up to $500 million.

The class-action lawsuit covers iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE owners in the U.S. Consumers alleged that their phones performed poorly after they updated iOS. This made them believe that the batteries on their phones have deteriorated beyond repair and forced them to seek battery replacement.

The lawsuit requires Apple to pay $25 per iPhone and the minimum payout amount stands at $310 million. Meanwhile, the compensation might differ depending on the total number of claims. In all likelihood, Apple did so to end the litigation and put an end to court proceedings and the related costs.

Apple had throttled the processors in a bid to manage temperature increase, high usage. According to Apple engineers, this was done to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Furthermore, they claimed that batteries fail to maintain peak performance as they age. Whatever might be the intentions, Apple didn’t communicate the changes it made on iOS 10.2.1 in 2017 to the users. The issue snowballed into a major controversy (batterygate) after users complained of throttling on their devices.

Apple apologized to the customers and also offered discounted battery replacement at $29 for the eligible devices. iOS was quickly updated to show Battery Health and whether or not the device is throttled. That apart, users are also given a choice to enable/disable throttling.

[via Reuters]