Apple agrees to pay up to $500M to settle iPhone battery slowdown lawsuit

iPhone battery slowdown lawsuit, Apple agrees to pay up to $500M

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple has tentatively agreed to pay up to $500 million to resolve class-action lawsuits filed in 2017 after the company admitted to slowing down older iPhones.

IPhone users who were 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 had running. They must file claims to get the award. If too many people file, the $25 amount could shrink.

Lawyers representing iPhone consumers and Apple 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.

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Apple said in a statement in 2017 that it “released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions.”

That admission led to Apple offering discounted battery replacements at $29, but many people claimed they had already spent hundreds of dollars to buy new phones because Apple didn’t reveal the cause of the problem. If they had known they could just buy new batteries, they might not have bought new phones, some consumers in the case said.

Apple did not admit wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, the company will pay $310 million to $500 million, including about $93 million to lawyers representing consumers.

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

A shopper tries out the new iPhone 6 at the Apple Store on the first day of sales of the new phone in Germany on September 19, 2014.
A shopper tries out the new iPhone 6 at the Apple Store on the first day of sales of the new phone in Germany on September 19, 2014. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Associated Press contributed to this story.