Report: Apple to settle iPhone performance lawsuit

Apple iPhone 6 (Apple)
Apple has settled a lawsuit alleging it reduced the performance of its 6, 6S, and 7 iPhones to circumvent battery lifetime issues. (FierceWireless)

This is not a great time for Apple, as the consumer electronics giant faces near-term business challenges stemming from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Now, a problem from the past has resurfaced, namely defective batteries in Apple’s older iPhone causing the company to slow down their performance to preserve battery life.

According to an Associated Press report, Apple has settled a class-action suit by agreeing to pay up to $500 million to owners of Apple iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and SE models. Apple and lawyers representing iPhone consumers agreed to the deal stemming from Apple’s 2017 admission that it was slowing down phone performance in older models to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

While that admission led to Apple offering discounted battery replacements at $29, many people claimed they had already spent hundreds of dollars to buy new phones because Apple didn’t reveal the cause of the problem, said the AP report. Had they known they could just buy new batteries, they might not have bought new phones, consumers reportedly contended in the lawsuit.

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According to the report, iPhone users named in the class-action lawsuit will get up to $3,500 each. The rest of the settlement money will be distributed to owners of iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and SE models who meet eligibility requirements related to the operating system they were running. Owners need to file claims to get a $25 reward.

A federal judge in San Jose, California, still needs to approve the settlement, the report said.

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