Apple will pay $500 million in settlements for slowing down iPhones

Apple has agreed to pay between $310 million up to $500 million to settle class-action litigation stemming from an iPhone battery dispute that became known as “Batterygate,” court filings show.

If the final settlement is approved, owners of affected iPhones that Apple had “throttled” or slowed down will receive $25 for each of the phones they owned, though the amount could increase or decrease based on fees.

Eligible consumers under the proposed settlement are current or former U.S. owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE devices running iOS 10.2.1 or later or iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices running iOS 11.2 or later, and who ran these iOS versions before Dec. 21, 2017.

The settlement filing was made Friday before the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, San Jose division.

In late 2017, Apple apologized to consumers in a letter for slowing down the affected handsets. At the time Apple offered to reduce the price of out-of-warranty replacement batteries from $79 to $29.

The episode not only resulted in rotten publicity for Apple but also spawned some of the ensuing litigation from consumers who argued Apple broke the terms of their contract. While some felt Apple intentionally sabotaged the older phones to generate fresh sales, Apple steadfastly denied such claims.

“There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making,” the. 2017 letter read. “First and foremost, 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 went on to explain that, a year earlier, it delivered a software update aimed at improving power management during peak workloads “to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE.”

The apology did little to stop the court proceedings that ultimately resulted in the proposed settlement.