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Apple settles older iPhone slowdown lawsuit

Consumers whose data flow was slowed in 2017 will be compensated

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Photo (c) Blackzheep - Getty Images
Apple has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over its brief policy of slowing down data streams for older iPhone models.

The suit was filed in 2017 after Apple released an operating system update that slowed older iPhone models to prevent them from prematurely using up battery power and shutting down. It mostly affected the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE devices.

The company will pay between $310 million and $500 million to settle the case. Class members will receive anywhere from $25 to $500 under the terms of the settlement.

At the end of 2017, Apple apologized to owners of older iPhones and announced a price reduction on replacement batteries after being charged with purposefully slowing down older iPhone models. Critics charged the company of not-so-subtly pushing consumers to upgrade their older iPhones.

Apple insisted that was not the case.

“We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the company said in a December 2017 statement. “Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”

Older phones couldn’t handle new functions

At the time, Apple said the latest version of its operating system had so many enhanced functions that it was taxing on older models. Apple said it slowed them down to avoid draining their batteries and prevent unexpected shutdowns.

In settling the case, Apple denied doing anything wrong and agreed to settle the case to avoid further legal costs. Under the terms of the settlement, members of the class will each get $25 for each iPhone they owned at the time. That amount, however, may be adjusted depending on attorney’s fees.

“The amount per device covered under the settlement could be increased to a maximum of $500 apiece depending on the number of iPhones identified as eligible under the agreement,” the settlement says.

Both sides have asked the court to establish Angeion Group as the settlement administrator. As of now, there are no instructions for class members to enter claims.

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