Apple’s $500 million settlement fund will only pay “Batterygate” victims about $25 per claim.
Apple has created a website for consumers affected by phone throttling updates to register for a payout.
Apple, writes 9to5Mac.com, agreed earlier this year to pay up to $500 million to settle a class action accusing the tech company of throttling iPhone performance in old-model phones.
“Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 per eligible device. Please note that the actual cash payment per eligible device may be greater than or less than $25, depending on the total number of approved claims and other factors,” the claims website states. “The total payments to be made by Apple under the proposed settlement are subject to a minimum and maximum as set forth above and in more detail in the Class Notice.”
As 9to5Mac.com notes, potential claimants must meet the following criteria to receive recompense:
- Must be a resident of the United States
- Must be a U.S. owner of an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 Plus, and/or SE device running iOS 10.2.1 or later
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus owners must have been running iOS 11.2, or a later version, before December 21st, 2017
U.S. residents with eligible devices will also need to have their iPhone’s serial number. If they do not have access to their eligible iPhone’s serial number, there are other options on the claims website.
LifeHacker.com notes that some consumers may wish to opt-out of the settlement—that’s because participating excludes claimants from suing Apple over similar issues in the future.
Regardless, The Verge notes that the details of the settlement have yet to be finalized. Apple could pay out anywhere between $300 million and $500 million, depending on how many claims it receives.
Hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of Americans could be eligible to receive funds from Apple.
As The Verge reported in December 2017, Apple’s phone-throttling program was uncovered by consumers in 2017. Users on Reddit had, for instance, begun to notice a correlation between Apple iOS updates and noticeably worsened phone performance. Later analyses suggested that Apple iOS 10.2.1 and 11.20 introduced throttling for different devices, as applicable.
By the end of 2017, Redditors found that their phones’ poor performance had a solution: battery replacements.
But the implication, says The Verge, was rather worrying: many iPhone users unwilling to tamper with their devices may have believed their phones were simply old and in need of replacement. While Apple later clarified its position and claimed it throttled phone performance to preserve decaying lithium-ion batteries in old-model phones, the damage was already done: many consumers believed that Apple maintained a deliberately opaque position, failing to disclose information about throttling in the hope that consumers would buy newer devices.
But iPhone owners are not likely to receive a check until early next year—the final hearing in the lawsuit is set for December 4th, when the settlement amount will be approved or denied by a judge. Once the award’s set and authorized, Apple will be obligated to distribute benefits “promptly.”