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Apple to Pay Users $500 M as Settlement for Slowdown Lawsuit

Rob Sterling

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Apple will start paying users $500 million as part of its settlement of a class-action lawsuit on its practice of slowing down older iPhones.

If you’ve bought an older iPhone, you might be eligible for $25 as part of Apple’s user settlement. Apple had settled a class-action lawsuit this year. The suit accused Apple of slowing down older iPhones.

Should You Submit a Claim Against Apple?

CNN reports that Apple will pay its users $500 million from its settlement. But how do you know if you are eligible? First, users must have bought an older iPhone that has slowed down. Next, you must have purchased the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE. If you want to submit a claim, you must have bought your phone before December 21, 2017. And since Apple will pay “per eligible device,” you can submit as many claims as you have phones.

In the CNN report, affected users should claim their money by October 6. They could do so online or by mail. However, some users might not receive full amounts. A March court filing said if there are too many claims, some users might get less money. But then if there are too few claims, users might get more money. Legal fees and expenses also count toward the funds.

Why Did Apple Settle?

Apple users all around the world have filed suits against the company. They’ve accused the company of slowing down older iPhones. In their lawsuit, they said Apple slowed down their phones to force them to upgrade to the latest units. These latest units were more expensive.

At first, Apple denied these claims. They said that they have “never—and would never—do anything” to harm any Apple product. They would never “intentionally shorten” its lifespan.

To appease customers, Apple said sorry for the trouble. They also made battery replacement cheaper. Moreover, they also released a new software update. The update gave users a closer look at their iPhone’s battery health.

Did Apple Slow Down Your iPhones?

In 2017, Apple did admit that they were slowing down older iPhones. The company had used software updates to “limit the performance of older iPhones.” These updates also caused the phones to suffer battery issues. Nearly every user suffered sudden battery shutdowns.

Users have said Apple used dirty tricks to get them to buy pricier iPhones. However, Apple denied this. They said they used software updates to protect the iPhone’s battery. With lithium-ion batteries degrading over time, Apple wanted to prolong the phone’s battery as much as possible.

Users have blasted Apple for this practice. Some of them even threatened to go to rival brand Samsung.

CNN reports that the court still has to give final approval to the settlement. The hearing is scheduled for December 4 in the US District Court in San Jose, California.

Rob is Tekrati's senior editor. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist and author. Rob lives in NYC and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance.

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