Apple has agreed to pay up to half a billion dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit over accusations of intentionally slowing down older iPhones to get users to buy upgraded versions. According to a court filing, a federal judge in California will be asked to approve the settlement agreement in April.
As per reports, after iPhone users alleged that Apple intentionally slowed down the older phones to drive new sales, the company initially maintained that they would never do anything to “intentionally” shorten the life of any Apple product, or “degrade the user experience” to drive customer upgrades.
However, later they admitted to tweaking the iOS software for slow performance to prevent handsets from spontaneously shutting down. In a letter to customers, the tech company reportedly apologised for the “misunderstanding” around the slowed performance and said that the tweak was done in order to compensate for degrading batteries.
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down, we apologize,” said the company as per reports.
Following a public outcry, Apple issued a software update to provide a feature for the users to check battery health. The performance management feature was introduced to dynamically manage maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns. As per reports, the company said that users could choose to turn off the default feature but only after the first unexpected shutdown.
In the proposed settlement offer, Apple has agreed to pay at least $310 million and up to $500 million to compensate the affected iPhone users in the United States. According to the court documents, it will also include the fees of lawyers for the plaintiffs.
According to the settlement, users with iPhone 7 or older models will get $25 for each handset. Apple Inc has already been hit hard due to the coronavirus epidemic since it was forced to shut down operations in China and particularly in Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly outbreak.
(With agency inputs)