Apple is set to pay out US$500 million ($759 million) to settle a class action lawsuit over claims it deliberately slowed down older versions of its iPhones, misleading users into upgrading their tech.
The news follows the 2017 ‘Batterygate’ scandal. Long suspected of designing phones to die, Apple was forced to admit older phones would indeed suffer as users upgraded their operating systems.
The tech giant was found to be ‘throttling’ processor speeds as battery capacity deteriorated. Customers who upgraded their operating systems found their central processing unit (CPU) speeds significantly decreased.
According to a Reuters report, plaintiffs in the class action said this meant iPhone owners were led to believe their phones required new batteries, or that they had to upgrade their handset altogether.
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Apple has, however, also attributed the problems to temperature changes and high usage, as well as other issues and general aging of the technology.
In settling the lawsuit, Apple denied any wrongdoing, but said it was settling the case to avoid the hefty cost of litigation.
The settlement was proposed on Friday, and is awaiting approval by the US district judge in San Jose, California.
If approved, it will see Apple paying about US$25 per affected iPhone — a figure that is subject to change, based on how many people claim the compensation.
It means Apple is looking at a minimum total payout of US$310 million.
The compensation will be available to owners of iPhones 6 and 7 that were running the iOS 10.2.1 operating systems, or later.
Alas, it only applies to US iPhone users, so similarly afflicted users in Australia are unlikely to see a cent.