Apple is settling a second lawsuit regarding its secret action to slow down older iphones, and this time, the company is coughing up a tidy sum. Back in February, the French consumer watchdog fined Apple about $27 million for the same offense. This is after the company admitted to having provided upgrades that secretly derailed the functionality of older iphones. The company was also ordered to put up a statement of admission on its website and display it for a month.
Now, Apple is facing yet another settlement that could see it pay up to $500 million (half a billion dollars) to users whose iPhones were affected by its covert action.
Why They Did It
Apple is one of Silicon Valley’s tech giants, and such a company needs huge sales to make good profits. However, not many people keep upgrading their iPhones, even as the company keeps launching new iPhones every other year. That’s where the vice started.
Apparently, Apple realized that some people weren’t buying new iPhones, so the company decided to give them a prod by way of slowing down the older iPhones to compel the owners to dump them and buy new ones. Frankly, this was a gross infringement of the consumers’ rights.
Justice To Be Done
Apple’s actions led to a class-action suit against the company, and now over $500 million will have to be spent to calm the tides of discontent among the affected users. According to the court documents released by the US District Court in San Jose, California, Apple will pay about $25 to any iPhone user whose device was affected. The total sum adds up to between $300 million and $500 million.
However, only the people who owned select iPhone models in recent years will be compensated as those are the older models that were affected. US-based users can file a claim for compensation if they owned any of these models prior to December 21, 2017. The models include iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE.
In December 2017, Apple confessed that it had developed and deployed software updates that slowed down the performance of old iPhones. This was after a group of tech analysts and disgruntled customers found out and flagged the updates. However, the company countered the accusations, saying that the updates were meant to improve the performance of iPhone lithium-ion batteries. That didn’t stop the class-action suit. The huge settlement is due for approval by a judge on 3rd April, 2020.