Apple Agrees To $500 Million Settlement For Slowing Down iPhones
Apple has agreed to pay a whopping $500 million settlement over allegations of slowing down iPhones.
It had been alleged the global tech company slowed down older versions of its iPhones to encourage people to buy newer versions.
In December 2017, Apple confirmed that it does slow down some models as they age, but only because battery performance reduces over time. At first the company offered battery replacements for $79, but this was reduced to the more affordable price of $29 in January 2018.
The US District Court came up with the figure by stating Apple needed to pay each iPhone user with an affected model $25 each, which was calculated to amount to a minimum of $310 million and a maximum of $500 million.
The settlement is still subject to approval, however, and will be considered by a judge on April 3.
iPhone users in the United States are all entitled to a payment of $25 if they owned an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus or SE device bought before December 21, 2017.
Last month, Apple also received a hefty fine of €25 million (£21 million/$27 million) from France’s consumer watchdog, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) , for the same issue.
While Apple did admit to slowing down its older phones, it claimed it did so to ‘prolong the life’ of the devices.
The French watchdog said iPhone owners ‘were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices’.
The DGCCRF deemed it a of crime of ‘deceptive commercial practice by omission’.
When the news initially broke in 2017, tech blog geekbench.com conducted its own research to see if the phones had started to slow down.
The blog read:
First, it appears the problem is widespread, and will only get worse as phones (and their batteries) continue to age.
[…] Second, the problem is due, in part, to a change in iOS. The difference between 10.2.0 and 10.2.1 is too abrupt to be just a function of battery condition. I believe (as do others) that Apple introduced a change to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point. Why did Apple do this?
iPhone users across the globe were understandably annoyed by Apple’s antics, and felt as if they were just trying to take more money from their customers.
One annoyed Twitter user said:
Been saying this since the original iPhone,as soon as that started to inexplicably slow down I switched to android. Glad I did, Apple drain our money. They come over here make huge profits and don’t pay fair share of tax then it turns out they were screwing peeps. Nah.
With some pretty hefty fines heading its way, hopefully Apple has learnt its lesson.
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