Apple has agreed to settle a lawsuit for as much as $500 million over allegations that it slowed down older iPhones, according to a report by Reuters.
The lawsuit said the technology giant intentionally slowed down older models of the phone to entice people to buy new ones. Some customers said they thought their phones were reaching the end of their life cycle because of the changes to performance.
The settlement, which came late on Friday (Feb. 28) still needs to be approved by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California. The terms of the settlement call for Apple to pay people $25 per iPhone, a number that could change depending on the number of eligible iPhones.
The minimum payout under the proposition would be $310 million. Apple would not admit that it slowed down the phones, but said it wanted to avoid a protracted court battle.
People who have the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus or SE running on iOS 10.2.1 are eligible for the settlement. Also eligible are owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2, or a later version before, the 21st of December, 2017.
Customers complained that they noticed a significant difference in performance after they upgraded their phones. Apple said that problems were due to temperature changes and overuse. The company said it identified and fixed the problem quickly.
Consumer lawyers said the settlement was “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” The $25 payout, the lawyers said, was “considerable by any degree” and that an expert hired to calculate damages said that the maximum payment should be $46. The lawyers want up to $93 million in legal fees and $1.5 million for expenses.
Once the public began to complain about slow iPhones and the issue appeared in the media, Apple said it was sorry and lowered the price of replacement batteries from $79 to $29.