Apple has agreed to settle the iPhone throttling class action lawsuit and will pay up to $500 million to settle litigation accusing it of quietly slowing down older iPhones in order to to induce owners to buy replacement phones or batteries.

Apple settles iPhone throttling lawsuit. Image: Apple's iPhone 7
Apple’s iPhone 7
Jonathan Stempel for Reuters:

The preliminary proposed class-action settlement was disclosed on Friday night and requires approval by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California.

It calls for Apple to pay consumers $25 per iPhone, which may be adjusted up or down depending on how many iPhones are eligible, with a minimum total payout of $310 million.

Apple denied wrongdoing and settled the nationwide case to avoid the burdens and costs of litigation, court papers show.

Lawyers for the consumers described the settlement as “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” They called payments of $25 per iPhone “considerable by any degree,” saying their damages expert considered $46 per iPhone the maximum possible.

The lawyers plan to seek up to $93 million, equal to 30% of $310 million, in legal fees, plus up to $1.5 million for expenses.

MacDailyNews Take: Half a bil. Well, now, there’s an expensive lesson on how to properly communicate with your customers.

Apple handled this poorly and deserves to learn a lesson so that the company properly communicates with customers in the future.MacDailyNews, August 1, 2019


There’s no excusing this one. Apple deserves the ongoing headache. Hopefully, when all is said and done and paid, the company will have learned an important lesson about transparency and communication with their customers.MacDailyNews, February 27, 2018


You can see why some think that Apple wanted to keep what they were doing a secret. If people knew that a $79 battery replacement would give them an iPhone that performed like it did on day one, a meaningful percentage would take that option versus buying a new iPhone. Now that it’s just $29 this year, that percentage will naturally increase.

Then again, as Hanlon’s razor states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Apple’s made up of people. People are imperfect. We’ll take Apple’s word for it that they “always wanted… customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible” and that they “have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.” — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018


Again, it’s Apple’s lack of communication that is the problem here. If Apple had clearly explained what was going on in the software, we’d know to recommend a battery replacement when users complained their older iPhones were getting “slow.” As it was, we were pretty much left to assume that the processor/RAM wasn’t up to par with demands of newer iOS releases and we’d naturally recommend getting a new iPhone.

Just yesterday, we had a friend complain that his iPhone 6 was acting “slow” and we knew to recommend a battery replacement (even though he instead opted to get himself an iPhone X on our strong recommendation). — MacDailyNews, December 29, 2017


As has almost always been the case with Apple, unfortunately, transparency comes later, not sooner, and usually as a reaction to negative publicity. A simple Knowledge Base article would have preempted all of this Reddit sleuthing and the attendant handwringing and erroneous presumptions.MacDailyNews, December 20, 2017

Friday’s settlement covers U.S. owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus or SE that ran the iOS 10.2.1 or later operating system. It also covers U.S. owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017.

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