By Jonathan Stempel
March 2 (Reuters) – Apple Inc has agreed to pay up to $500 million to resolve litigation accusing it of quietly slowing down older iPhones as it launched novel models, to induce homeowners to favor replacement phones or batteries.
The preliminary proposed class-action settlement was disclosed on Friday evening and requires approval by U.S. District Rob Edward Davila in San Jose, California.
It calls for Apple to pay patrons $25 per iPhone, which may be adjusted up or down depending on how many iPhones are eligible, with a minimum total payout of $310 million.
Apple denied wrongdoing and settled the nationwide case to avoid the burdens and costs of litigation, court papers reveal.
The Cupertino, California-based company didn’t immediately retort on Monday to requests for remark.
Friday’s settlement covers U.S. homeowners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus or SE that ran the iOS 10.2.1 or later operating system. It also covers U.S. homeowners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later earlier than Dec. 21, 2017.
Patrons contended that their phones’ performance suffered after they installed Apple software updates. They said this misled them into believing their phones have been near the finish of their lifecycles, requiring replacements or novel batteries.
Apple attributed the concerns mainly to temperature changes, high usage and diversified points, and said its engineers labored snappily and efficiently to address them. Analysts sometimes refer to the slowing of iPhones as “throttling.”
Lawyers for the patrons described the settlement as “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”
They called payments of $25 per iPhone “considerable by any degree,” saying their damages professional regarded as $46 per iPhone the maximum imaginable.
The lawyers plan to inspect up to $93 million, equal to 30% of $310 million, in legal costs, plus up to $1.5 million for costs.
Following an initial outcry over gradual iPhones, Apple apologized and decreased the value for replacement batteries to $29 from $79.
The case is In re Apple Inc Tool Performance Litigation, U.S. District Court docket, Northern District of California, No. 18-md-02827. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in Novel York; Editing by Dan Grebler)