A little more than five years ago, iPhone users found themselves in a tussle with tech giant Apple, alleging that their iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone SE were being deliberately slowed down. What would be known as ‘Batterygate’ kicked off in late 2016, when users noticed their phones shutting down earlier than usual or slowing down when the battery was nearing zero percent. Apple later admitted that a software update, first released in 2016, was responsible for slowing down the performance of older iPhones with weakened batteries to prevent them from abruptly turning off. The company argued this was done for safety reasons and claimed it had no bad intentions. Still, the admission fed into a conspiracy theory of planned obsolescence, where Apple intentionally slowed down phones to force users to upgrade.
Those affected were told they could file a claim to receive compensation, and in 2020, the company began doling out $25 per iPhone to people approved for the payouts. However, two iPhone owners appealed the settlement, arguing that the minimum payout was too low. The duo’s appeal has now been rejected, meaning Apple will begin to pay out the money to eligible iPhone owners this week.
The amount each iPhone owner will receive will be determined by how many claims are approved and whether or not any legal fees or expenses are approved, according to documents filed Friday in US District Court in San Jose. The minimum payment will be $310 million, but the final sum could reach $500 million if the threshold is reached and a sufficient number of people have approved claims for the payout.
To qualify for the payout, iPhone owners will need to have an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 7 from the launch of the device in September 2015 and an iPhone SE from the release of that model in March 2016. If you are an iPhone user who meets these requirements and you’ve filed a claim, you should receive your money within a month of the ruling being announced.
Those who don’t meet the criteria of having an iPhone from one of those releases but who had a slower phone after the iOS update may also be able to file for compensation. If you need clarification on which model you own or what year it was made, you can use the iPhone identifier tool on the Apple website to check if your phone is eligible for compensation.
For those with an iPhone 6 or a SE, submitting documentation proving that your device was slowed down will be up to you. This will include proof of purchase and the IMEI number for the SE models, which can be found on the back of your phone. You must also prove you haven’t tampered with or modified your iPhone.