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Apple to pay $500 million over slow iPhone lawsuit

Following a lawsuit over whether or not Apple deliberately slows down older iPhones, it will have to pay consumers $500 million in total for damages.

You may not remember now, but back in mid-2017, a handful of iPhone users decided to take Apple to court over allegations that it was deliberately slowing down performance and battery life on older models.

This initial spark snowballed into sixty different lawsuits, and Apple has since admitted that it intentionally slows down older phones to tackle aging batteries. The company also lowered the price of its replacement batteries in 2018 from $79 to $29 in the US and swapped out over 11 million that year.

All of this hasn’t been enough to keep the extra charges at bay, however, as Apple is now expected to fork out half a billion US dollars as compensation for users who purchased older iPhones. That equates to $25 per user and applies to anybody who owns an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, or SE that runs iOS 10.2.1 or later in the US.

All of this doesn’t necessarily mean that your phone is being throttled for the sake of profit. Apple is adamant that any changes to the performance of ageing phones are done so out of necessity. If an iPhone 6 was trying to run at the same level as an iPhone 11, for example, users would see significant dips in quality and may experience overheating, spontaneous shutdowns, and memory wipes. Which, you know, isn’t the most convenient of situations to be in.

Still, it’s been an uphill battle to push Apple to be more transparent about how it updates all of its iPhone range and its business practices in general.

In May 2019 the company agreed to be more open as to how performance rates would be affected in future iOS updates and make information on battery health more accessible for users. Just this week it’s been made public that Apple doesn’t let villains use iPhones on screen, though this wasn’t meant to be known outside of the film industry.

Apple has stated that it settled the current US battery life case to avoid litigation costs and still denies any wrongdoing. The reality is that older iPhones are deliberately slowed down, though for what intention is still a case for debate.

Either way, US consumers can grab a little cash back in a few months for the whole ordeal, which is a little victory in its own right.