Apple to pay $500m settlement for slowing down iPhones

Apple is set to pay older iPhone users $25 each as part of a $500m settlement following a ruling in the US that it purposefully slowed down smartphones.

Apple revealed in 2017 that it introduced a software feature in ageing iPhones to throttle performance, though it said that this would help to prolong the lifespan of devices.

Critics said that the move was proof that Apple is targeting “planned obsolescence” for older iPhones as it would force people to purchase a new model.

On Monday, Apple agreed to pay a $500m sum to settle the lawsuit after several years of costly legal wranglings, but it did not admit to any wrongdoing.

It means that owners of eight iPhones, including the iPhone 6, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 Plus, will soon be entitled to a $25 payment, which could cost Apple between $310m and $500m.

Apple did attempt to ease the fallout a couple of years ago when it offered replacement iPhone batteries for just $29, around a third cheaper than the standard $79 price.

Apple said at the time that it believed the software update would solve some of the problems with older devices, such as battery wear from high usage and temperature changes.

The Cupertino-based company noted that its engineers worked quickly to address the issues, but users contended that they were misled into believing that their devices were no longer as usable.

Lawyers for the consumers who raised the case are happy with the outcome after stating that it was “fair, reasonable and adequate”.

The latest ruling comes just several weeks after the company was fined €25m in France for the same problems.

French officials believe that Apple indulged in a “deceptive commercial practice” when it did not divulge details about slowing down phones.

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