Apple Will Pay $500M for Intentionally Slowing Down iPhone Performance

iPhone owner? You could be eligible for $25 portion of the settlement

Why This Matters

Apple admitted in 2017 to intentionally slowing down older iPhone performance to protect aging batteries. Now, it’s paying $500M to customers for its lack of transparency. You can apply for your cut after April 3.

Apple's iPhone 6S showcases what the company's brand has become known for.
Apple's iPhone 6S, released in September 2015. Apple, Inc.

Three years after admitting it was slowing down iPhone performance to protect lithium ion batteries in some aging iPhones, Apple has, according to CNN Business, reached a deal to pay out $500M to customers. Ostensibly, those who can prove they owned older iPhones could get $25 (per phone).

The big picture… For years, Apple beat back rumors that it intentionally slowed previous generation iPhone performance to encourage customers to purchase new devices. In 2017, the company admitted to the slow down, but said it wasn’t about selling more products. Instead, Apple explained, it was trying to manage deteriorating battery performance in older devices.

Why is Apple paying? By admitting that it was intentionally slowing down performance, Apple confirmed some consumer advocates darkest fears about the company. This, despite the fact that Apple painted it as a protective measure.

Lithium Ion Facts. The chemical reaction that occurs inside Lithium Ion batteries does degrade overtime, and prior to Apple quietly introducing performance throttling, peak performance demands could result in unexpected iPhone shutdowns.

What else is Apple doing? Since 2017, the company has offered $29 battery replacements (for iPhone 6 and above) and delivered an iOS update that allows users to turn off performance throttling. Naturally, that feature lives under Battery Health.

By the Numbers

  • Apple sells over 200M iPhones each year.
  • Lithium ion batteries start degrading after 1,0000 charges.
  • The settlement could impact 20 million devices.

Bottom line. The settlement is not official until a judge approves it on April 3. Consumers will then have to apply for their piece of the $500M settlement.

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