Apple Concludes Payouts in iPhone Slowdown Controversy

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Apple has started disbursing funds in response to a long-drawn class action lawsuit in the US alleging that the iPhone manufacturer intentionally slowed down some of its models.

Each individual having filed the claim will receive $92 (£72) on average.

This news comes as Apple settles the case, shelling out a substantial amount of $500 million (£394 million).

Back in December 2017, Apple admitted to deliberately slowing down some iPhones as they grew old. This triggered a backlash from iPhone users, who accused Apple of controlling their devices without prior notice.

Apple argued that since the performance of the devices decreased with age, the “slowdown” prolonged the lifespan of its batteries.

Although the tech giant denied any wrongdoing, it decided to settle the lawsuit in 2020. It pointed out the escalating cost of the ongoing litigation as the reason to settle the case.

Initially, the settlement involved compensating as little as $25 per user. However, the final decision reveals that each individual will receive almost fourfold the amount declared initially.

Why Does Apple Slow Down Phones?

In the wake of the recent payouts in response to the iPhone slowdown controversy, it’s crucial to understand why Apple slowed down its iPhones.

According to the official explanation provided by Apple, the aging of lithium-ion batteries and the potential impact on device performance promoted them to make such a decision.

The batteries in iPhones undergo a natural degradation with age. This reduces the optimal performance capabilities of the devices.

In response to these challenges, Apple claimed to introduce a performance management feature in iOS. This feature would prevent unexpected shutdowns during demanding tasks, eventually extending the overall lifespan of the devices.

In a parallel legal battle in the UK, Apple has faced a class action lawsuit over a similar misconduct where it has to fork out a staggering compensation of £1.6 billion. This case represents around 24 million iPhone users and was initiated by Justin Gutmann in June 2022.

Although Apple tried to dismiss this lawsuit, it was thwarted last November. The company faces an uphill battle against what it has labeled a “baseless” claim.

We 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.Apple

Gutmann expressed satisfaction with the payments in response to the development in the US. However, he cautioned that the rulings in the US will have no impact on the ongoing case in the UK.

He further stated that the US settlement doesn’t amount to Apple’s admission of guilt. It is rather a “moral victory” devoid of any immediate benefits for his pursuit of justice in the UK.

At the UK Court of Appeal, the next milestone is a hearing where Apple may stop the proceedings. Although the timeline remains uncertain, Gutmann expects the potential dates of trial in late 2024 or early 2025.

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