Apple has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit it is facing for deliberately ‘throttling’ or slowing down old iPhone models, prompting users to get the batteries changed or purchase a newer model. The preliminary proposed class-action settlement now requires approval by a federal judge (likely US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California). The court papers show that Apple has denied the wrongdoing, but so far, the company hasn’t commented on this interesting development.
The proposed settlement will see Apple pay at least $310 million but not more than $500 million to compensate the affected US iPhone users. According to court documents, Apple will pay consumers $25 per iPhone, which may be adjusted depending on the number of eligible iPhones. Reportedly, those with iPhone 7 models or older will get $25. The settlement also covers the owners of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE in the US. These phones ran iOS 10.2.1 or later operating system.
In 2017, Apple admitted that it tweaked the iOS software updates of older phones to slow down their performance. The company argued that the batteries of older iPhones were deteriorating, and tweaked software updates prevented those handsets from spontaneously shutting down. Critics say that the move forced people either to purchase new iPhones sooner than necessary or get the batteries of their phones replaced. After a huge outcry, Apple apologised and started to offer steep discounts on battery replacements (from $79 to $29).
In another iPhone-related news, Apple has increased the prices of its handsets in India. The Cupertino-based company revised the price after the Indian government increased the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) and withdrew an earlier exemption from the Social Welfare Surcharge in the Union Budget 2020-21. However, there is no change in the prices of other products, which include iPads, Apple Watch, and Mac PCs.
It is worth noting that Apple has increased prices of a few selected handsets – the iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. This, however, doesn’t impact iPhone XR and iPhone 11, which happen to be Apple’s top-selling smartphones in the country. Other devices such as iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac range have also remained unaffected. Apple hasn’t increased the prices of the iPhone XR and the iPhone 7 because they are assembled in India by Foxconn and Wistron. The iPhone 11 also remains unaffected by the price revision.
The price hike for the iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus is about 2 per cent. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro 64GB is now priced at Rs 1,01,200. The 256GB model of the phone is now available for Rs 1,15,200. The top-end model is now available for Rs 1,33,200 – earlier it was Rs 1,31,900. All phones have received a hike of about Rs 3,000.
The larger Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB and 512GB models can now be purchased for Rs 1,11,200 and Rs 1,43,200, respectively. The 64GB variant of the Apple iPhone 8 Plus is available for Rs 50,600, and the 128GB variant is available for Rs 55,600. Apple iPhone 8 64GB and 128GB models are now priced at Rs 40,500 and Rs 45,500, respectively.