January 8, 2024

Apple settles lawsuits alleging it purposefully slowed down iPhones

This post was written by: Michael Sayers

In response to allegations that it purposefully slowed down some iPhone models in the US, Apple has started paying settlements in a protracted class action case.

The $500 million (£394 million) settlement will be divided among the complainants, amounting to around $92 per claim. Apple stated at the time that it denied any wrongdoing but was concerned about the cost of pursuing legal action, and as a result, it agreed to settle the complaint in 2020.

In the UK, a lawsuit similar to this one is suing for £1.6 billion in damages.

The US case began in December 2017, when Apple acknowledged that it had purposefully slowed down some iPhones as they aged, confirming a long-held fear among phone users. It claimed that when batteries grew older, their efficiency dropped, resulting in a “slowdown” that extended the life of the phones. However, following accusations that it had secretly throttled the performance of some iPhone models, Apple responded to the outcry by providing a low-cost battery replacement.

The US legal action resulted from it. It was projected at the time of the settlement that each individual might receive as little as $25, but it looks like the real payout is nearly four times that amount.

Apple failed in its attempt to stop a comparable class action case in the UK last November. Justin Gutmann initially filed the lawsuit in June 2022, on behalf of an estimated 24 million iPhone users.

“We have never – and would never – do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” Apple said in response to the case, labelling it “baseless.”

However, the UK complaint additionally demands damages for owners of iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X devices, in contrast to the US settlement, which only extended to handsets in the iPhone 6 and 7 range.

In the UK, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that goods purchased must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality.  There are additional rights when items are purchased online.

If you have had any problems with goods or services that you have purchased, our litigation department can help.  Get in touch today with our head of department, James Dyche on jdyche@astonbond.co.uk or call us on 01753 486 777.