By | June 27, 2023
Millions of Apple customers receive payments in $500 million iPhone 'batterygate' settlement.  Here's what you need to know.

iPhone users will have to adjust to a small but significant change

Millions of iPhone owners whose older devices slowed down after software updates may soon get a payday.

Apple will soon pay out between $310 million and $500 million to up to about 3 million users of many iPhones before 2018, lawyers for Apple customers said in a statement. The payouts will go to affected users who filed claims against the tech giant in 2020 over a problem that became known as “batterygate.”

“[W]e can finally provide immediate cash payments to affected Apple customers,” said Mark C. Molumphy, a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, one of the firms handling the suit on behalf of Apple customers.

The settlement comes after a judge rejected Apple’s appeal to challenge a class-action lawsuit filed against the tech giant in 2017, paving the way for “consumers affected by software throttling” to receive settlement payments, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said.

“Software throttling” refers to software updates provided by Apple for its previous iPhone models that had low-capacity batteries that ran out over time. The iOS updates intentionally slowed down the overall performance of users’ iPhones when an aging battery was detected to prevent the devices from shutting down completely during “peak power demands.”

Unbeknownst to iPhone users at the time, software updates from Apple for its previous iPhone models intentionally slowed down the performance of the devices to prevent shutdowns caused by aging batteries.

Mairo Cinquetti/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple said the reason for reducing or throttling performance was not to trick customers into unnecessarily upgrading their iPhone — which only required a new battery — but to extend the life of the devices, the company said Verge in 2017. iPhones would return to their normal speeds when the degraded battery was replaced.

The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by Apple, according to the claim’s website.

Here’s what you need to know about the settlement:

How much will qualified iPhone users get paid?

If you filed a claim, you could expect to get roughly $65 from Apple, attorney Mark C. Molumphy told CBS MoneyWatch.

“It could be higher, as much as $85 to $90, depending on the number of claims submitted,” he added.

Fewer complaints generally mean larger payouts for each individual claimant.

According to a legal documentabout 3.3 million iPhone users filed claims before the deadline, meaning they could get $128 each, minus any court-ordered deductions for attorneys’ fees and other costs.

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Who is eligible to receive a settlement payment?

Owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus and SE models running iOS 10.2.1 or later and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus running iOS 11.2 or later before December 21, 2017 may be eligible to receive payments, solution website shows.

However, only affected users who submitted claims before the October 6, 2020 deadline are potentially eligible to receive a check.

When will people receive the settlement money?

It’s unclear when exactly eligible users will receive their settlement checks.

Neither Apple nor Apple’s lawyers immediately responded to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment.

Why has it taken so long for people to get their money?

In general, most class action lawsuits take between two and three years to resolve, although some can take longer, especially if a court decision is appealed, according to Class Action Consumer

Court proceedings and the appeals process have dragged out the Batterygate class action, extending the time until the plaintiffs get their money.

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