Apple to pay $500 million for slowing down the iPhone

It has already been more than two years since Apple admitted that they had been slowing down iPhones after a couple of years with software updates. It rendered your two year old iPhone, which still had hardware good enough for their day, to become near unusable in some cases. A class-action lawsuit against Apple has led to them tentatively agreeing to a $500 million settlement.

Apple’s official statement read that it slowed the phones down to preserve the battery, since they don’t have removable batteries. All iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 models were effected. However, many believe that Apple did this in order to entice customers to upgrade to the latest and greatest (and expensive) iPhone.

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The settlement means that Apple will pay $25 to any current or former owner of one of the effected iPhones in the US. But named class members will receive either $1,500 or $3,500. The lawyers will also have a pretty payday, of course, with $90 million of the total settlement going towards their efforts.

According to Apple, the ‘feature’ was introduced to curb real issues. The devices could accidentally shutdown without notice and could further decrease the longevity of the battery, meaning that it would need to be replaced. Because Apple didn’t disclose this to anyone at the time, most people believed age was the culprit for the slowdown. However, some users discovered that iOS was responsible for artificially limiting the process speeds.

Whether or not Apple’s intentions were pure in slowing down these phones, most people were just upset because of the lack of transparency.

Apple said that it fixed the issues it was experiencing with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 ranges and it hasn’t been included in subsequent phones. Seeing as Apple has always been great at optimising its software and hardware to work in unison, it marked a disappointing time in Apple’s engineering efforts.