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Compensation on the horizon for Apple users in $500 million settlement over iPhone “batterygate” issue

A substantial number of Apple customers who experienced reduced performance on their older iPhones following software updates are on the verge of receiving financial restitution. In an upcoming development, Apple is set to disburse a substantial sum ranging from $310 million to $500 million to approximately 3 million users of various pre-2018 iPhone models, as confirmed by attorneys representing the affected individuals.

These payments are earmarked for users who took legal action against the technology giant in 2020 due to the notorious “batterygate” predicament. Mark C. Molumphy, a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, one of the legal firms involved in the case, expressed satisfaction, stating, “[W]e can at last extend immediate monetary remedies to the Apple patrons who were adversely impacted.”

This resolution follows the dismissal of Apple’s appeal to challenge a class-action lawsuit initiated against the company in 2017. This dismissal paved the way for those who suffered from “software throttling” to become eligible for settlement payments, as confirmed by legal representatives for the claimants.

The term “software throttling” pertains to software updates provided by Apple for its earlier iPhone models with aging batteries that experienced diminishing capacities over time. These updates intentionally curtailed the overall device performance when the system detected a worn-out battery. The objective was to prevent the iPhones from shutting down during periods of high power demands.

In 2017, Apple clarified that its motive for performance reduction, commonly referred to as throttling, was not to manipulate customers into upgrading their devices prematurely. Instead, the company aimed to extend the lifespan of the devices. iPhones would revert to their standard operational speeds once the deteriorated battery was replaced. Notably, the settlement should not be interpreted as Apple admitting any wrongdoing, as emphasized on the claim website.

Individuals who have submitted claims can anticipate an approximate payout of $65 from Apple. Tyson Redenbarger, a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, conveyed this information to the Mercury News. However, the exact payout will be contingent on the final count of approved claims. Generally, a lower number of claims lead to larger individual payouts for the claimants.

As per legal documentation, around 3.3 million iPhone users lodged claims before the stipulated deadline. Consequently, they could each be eligible for a payout of about $128, with potential adjustments for attorney’s fees and other associated costs.

The settlement pertains to owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, and SE models running iOS 10.2.1 or later, along with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices running iOS 11.2 or later, prior to December 21, 2017, as indicated on the settlement website.

It is crucial to note that only individuals affected by this issue who submitted their claims before the October 6, 2020 deadline are eligible for potential compensation.