Apple customers who bought certain previous iPhone models can now submit claims for about $25 per phone as part of the company’s settlement of a class action lawsuit that accused the company of slowing down older devices. According to a CNN Business news report, the settlement announced in March applies to customers who purchased the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6sPlus, 7, 7 Plus, or the iPhone SE before Dec. 21, 2017 and experienced performance issues.
What You Can Expect from This Claim
Apple will pay “per eligible device,” according to the settlement. This means owners of multiple impacted iPhones can submit multiple claims. Affected users must submit a claim online or via mail by Oct. 6 to be eligible for a payout. A court filing in March said the amount each user gets could increase or decrease depending on how many claims are filed as well as any additional legal fees and expenses that the court approves. Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million as part of the settlement agreement earlier this year, ending a years-long battle, in which it tried to ease a global backlash against its practices.
Deliberately Slowing Down Devices
In December 2017, Apple admitted that it used software updates to slow down older iPhones. This angered customers and tech analysts who had previously said that the updates were slowing down the phones. Some said Apple used this strategy to force users to upgrade to the latest iPhone model. But the company maintained that its goal was to address issues with older lithium-ion batteries that could make the phones suddenly shut down to protect their components.
Apple later apologized and offered replacement batteries to its customers for $79, which it later reduced to $29. The settlement is subject to final approval with a scheduled hearing in December in U.S. District Court in San Jose. According to a notice on the claims website, payments will be made if the court approves the settlement and after any appeals are resolved.
This settlement is an example of how class action lawsuits work to make consumers whole especially when a large corporation has engaged in unethical or illegal practices. While individual consumers may not have the money or the resources to go after a large corporation such as Apple, when consumers band together in a class action lawsuit, they have the power to hold the corporation accountable and make them pay for the losses they have caused.