Apple Reaches $500 Million Settlement in iPhone Throttling Suit

By Chand Bellur

March 2, 2020 at 7:52 p.m. PDT

  • Apple throttled CPU speed on older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
  • Several class action lawsuits emerged and eventually resulted in one combined lawsuit.
  • Apple agreed to settle the suit for up to $500 million in order to avoid further litigation.

Batterygate is Finally Resolved

There’s no shortage of controversy when it comes to Apple products. Being one of the largest corporation on the planet, Apple’s deep pockets attract lawsuits. The latest settlement resolves Batterygate by giving each affected user $25.

Batterygate emerged when users noticed lower Geekbench scores after upgrading iOS. Apple implemented processor throttling to prevent unexpected shutdowns on devices with old, failing batteries. Although this provided users with a preferable user experience, the lack of transparency seemed to upset some. The Cupertino company later added battery health statistics and a way to turn off processor throttling.

Some consumers preferred to have their iPhone shut down unexpectedly, rather than suffer a performance loss. Numerous class-action lawsuits went after Apple for slowing down devices, which appeared to be planned obsolescence to some. Some customers felt Apple throttled the iPhone to force device upgrades.

Apple Settles iPhone Processor Throttling for $500 Million

Litigation can go on for years, however, it’s rarely in the best interest of a massive corporation. Apple decided to settle the case by offering all affected customers $25. This settlement is capped at $500 million. If more customers come forward, the settlement will decrease. The case is still pending approval by a federal judge.

If the case is approved, iPhone users can make a claim. Anyone who installed an iOS update on an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE prior to December 21, 2017 is eligible for the $25 settlement.

Although the lawsuit may seem frivolous, it may actually do some good. It’s hard to believe that anyone would prefer an unexpected shutdown to a slower device, however, that’s not the point. Apple wasn’t transparent with users, which has always been a problem. The company is notoriously secretive about everything. This time, their opacity got the better of them. In the future, Apple may be more transparent about the inner-workings of the iPhone, reassuring users that they’re getting the best user experience money can buy.

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