Apple has agreed to pay a settlement of up to $500 million, following a lawsuit accusing the company of intentionally slowing down the performance of older iPhones to encourage customers to buy newer models or fresh batteries.
Apple would potentially pay consumers $25 per phone, as reported by Reuters.
Apple however, denied wrongdoing in the case and said it was only agreeing to avoid the cost and burden associated with the lawsuit.
Customers who bought older iPhones complained that phone performance drastically slowed after installing newer software updates, and contend that this was caused intentionally by Apple.
Any. owner of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 Plus or SE in the U.S. that ran on iOS 10.2.1 (or later) are covered by the settlement.
Users of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus which ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017 are also covered by the settlement.
A couple of years ago, Apple released an iOS update (10.2.1 and 11.2) that introduced a new feature for older devices. If your battery is getting old, iOS would cap peak performances as your battery might not be able to handle quick peaks of power draw. The result of those peaks is that your iPhone might shut down abruptly.
While that feature is technically fine, Apple failed to inform users that it was capping performances on some devices. The company apologized and introduced a new software feature called “Battery Health,” which lets you check the maximum capacity of your battery and if your iPhone can reach peak performance.
And that’s the issue here. Many users may have noticed that their phone would get slower when they play a game, for instance. But they didn’t know that replacing the battery would fix that. Some users may have bought new phones even though their existing phone was working fine.