Some iPhone users are set to receive payouts as part of a controversy over Apple’s battery technology. Owners of older devices who joined a lawsuit over what was termed “batterygate” are set to receive around $65, according to the lawyers behind it. The payments relate to a controversy that erupted in 2017, when users complained that Apple was intentionally limiting the performance of their iPhones. As their devices aged, they found, Apple would place restrictions on how fast the devices could run.
Apple said the restrictions were a way of ensuring that older devices could continue to function even as their batteries degraded. The older batteries did not provide reliable or constant power, and so spikes in performance could mean the devices would spontaneously shut down otherwise. But users complained that they had not been told about the change and had no way to turn it off. It also played into a persistent belief that Apple slows down older devices as part of “planned obsolescence” aimed at encouraging people to buy new iPhones – though there is no evidence that is the case.
Landmark Victory: Historic Payout for iPhone Owners in ‘Batterygate’ Lawsuit
The controversy meant that lawyers brought complaints on behalf of owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, or the first-generation iPhone SE, in 2018. Now they have achieved success in what they say is “the largest all-cash recovery in a computer intrusion case in history”. The settlement stipulated that Apple would pay at least $310 million to affected customers, which is expected to work out at about $65 each. But users must have signed up before October 2020, when a deadline passed, if they want to receive it, and only those 100 million people who did so will be part of the settlement. Apple has not publicly commented on the proceedings. It had appealed the settlement, but an appeals court in the US has since dismissed that case, allowing the payments to go forward.