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Apple to pay up to $500 million in lawsuit after deliberately slowing iPhones, and you could get a payout

Apple to pay up to $500 million in lawsuit after deliberately slowing iPhones, and you could get a payout
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A class action lawsuit over Apple's iPhone batteries could see the tech giant paying out $500 million, with qualifying consumers being paid $25 per iPhone, according to Reuters (opens in new tab)

The news comes after Apple was fined €25 million (opens in new tab) ($27 million) by a French consumer watchdog which found Apple guilty of "misleading commercial practice through omission." 

Apple admitted to slowing down old iPhones as it launched new models back in 2017, with many seeing this as a play to get iPhone users to upgrade to newer models or pay for new batteries. Apple claims that in slowing down older iPhones it merely aimed to prolong the life of devices, as battery performance inevitably diminishes over time. Denying wrongdoing, Apple has settled the case to avoid litigation costs. 

Although Apple is known for producing some of the best smartphones (opens in new tab) money can buy, this scandal has done little for the brand's reputation and may see consumers opting for Android market leader Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (opens in new tab) over the iPhone 11 Pro (opens in new tab) in future. 

Apple has increased its transparency since the 'throttling' scandal in 2017, discounting battery replacements to only $29 in 2018. It's also listed full effects (opens in new tab) and explaining the reasoning for slowing down older iPhone models on its website. These include:

  • Longer app launch times
  • Lower frame rates while scrolling
  • Backlight dimming
  • Lower speaker volume
  • Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps
  • Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch

Was your iPhone affected?

The settlement pertains to current or past owners of iPhones the following models:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6s 
  • iPhone 6s Plus 
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus

It also only applies to U.S. users, and the payout they receive will depend on the amount of claims that are made. According to Reuters, a "damages expert considered $46 per iPhone the maximum possible" payout. However, the settlement still has to be approved by a federal judge before you'll see any money back. We'll keep you updated as and when that happens, but for now check out our guide to the best cell phone providers (opens in new tab). If you're considering making the switch from Apple to Android, check out this $150 Samsung Galaxy discount (opens in new tab) at Walmart. 

Millie is a former staff writer for the Top Ten Reviews brand who now works across Future's Home portfolio. Her spare time is spent traveling, cooking, playing guitar and she's currently learning how to knit. Millie loves tracking down a good deal and keeping up-to-date on the newest technology and kitchen appliances.