LEGAL/POLICY

Apple Digs Deep To Settle US iPhone Slowdown Case

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Apple agreed to pay as much as US$500 million to settle US litigation related to a decision to intentionally slow the performance of older iPhones to extend their battery life.

The deal, which must still be approved by a judge, calls for Apple to pay consumers between US$25 and US$500 for each affected device. The figure is set to be adjusted based on the number of approved claims, meaning Apple will pay a minimum of US$310 million and maximum of US$500 million.

Payouts will be offered to all current and former US owners of an iPhone 6; 6 Plus; 6s; 6s Plus; 7; 7 Plus; or SE running iOS 10.2.1 or later. Versions of its 7-series devices running iOS 11.2 or later are also included.

In all instances the offer applies to models running those versions of Apple’s OS on or before 21 December 2017.

If approved, the settlement would end a legal battle which began in late 2017 after Apple acknowledged a power management feature implemented in its iOS software slowed processor speeds in older iPhones to improve their battery life.

Apple originally responded to a consumer outcry over the issue by slashing the cost of replacement batteries for impacted devices, but still faced multiple lawsuits from users and investigations from regulators in the US and France. The US lawsuits were consolidated into a single case in 2018.

Last month, the company agreed to pay a fine of €25 million(US$27.97million) to French competition authorities to settle their investigation into the issue.

A court hearing to approve the settlement is scheduled for 3 April.-Mobile World Live

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