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Apple starts paying compensation to users in ‘Batterygate’ settlement; iPhone owners get cheques

After reaching a $500 million settlement in 2020 to resolve a U.S. class action lawsuit related to the iPhone “batterygate” controversy, Apple is now making payments to those affected. The settlement, which brought an end to legal proceedings surrounding Apple’s efforts to manage the performance of older iPhone models, is finally reaching its resolution with cheques being issued to members over three years later.

Compensation Details and Eligibility Criteria

Agreed upon in May 2020, the settlement allowed affected owners of specific iPhone models to submit claims for compensation by October 6, 2020. According to the terms, Apple committed to a minimum payment of $310 million and a maximum of $500 million, contingent on the number of claims received.

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Recent reports, including posts reported by MacRumors, reveal that owners who applied for the settlement are beginning to receive notifications about their payments. The images accompanying these reports indicate that the settlement payments amount to $92.17 per claim.

Eligible Devices and Consolidation of Cases

The list of eligible customers encompasses U.S. residents who owned an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, or an iPhone SE running iOS 10.2.1 or later. For the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, eligibility extended to those running iOS 11.2 or later before December 21, 2017.

This settlement addresses multiple identical cases consolidated in 2018, collectively referred to as Batterygate, where Apple faced accusations of violating various laws with its actions. The controversy stemmed from Apple’s introduction of an iOS feature in versions 10.2.1 and later, designed to temporarily throttle chips under heavy loads to mitigate the impact of aging iPhone batteries and prevent unexpected shutdowns.

Lawsuits argued that Apple failed to adequately inform users about the feature before implementation, leading to complaints of reduced hardware performance and suspicions of planned obsolescence. In response, Apple issued an apology to iPhone owners in 2017 and reduced the out-of-warranty battery replacement charge to $29 for affected users.

While the U.S. Batterygate lawsuit is concluding with payouts, Apple continues to grapple with similar challenges elsewhere. In May, the company attempted to thwart another Batterygate lawsuit in the UK, where plaintiffs are seeking $2 billion in damages from the tech giant.

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