Apple’s clandestine decision to throttle the CPU speeds of iPhone handsets, which it claimed was done to protect phones with older batteries from unexpected shutdowns, is probably going to cost the company a whopping $500 million.
The company has tentatively agreed a settlement to a number of class action lawsuits, filed in the wake of the iPhone slowdown controversy.
If the settlement is finalised, Apple will offer to pay $25 to any user of an iPhone 6 or iPhone 7 handset. There’s thousands of dollars on offer to those named in the class action suits, which will be settled en masse if the settlement goes through.
The batterygate controversy emerged at the end of 2017, when it emerged Apple was covertly slowing down older handsets. Cynics immediately accused the firm of ‘planned obsolescence’, whereby iPhone users were pushed to upgrade handsets thinking they were suffering due to old age.
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Naturally, Apple responded by pushing back against the claims, by saying it was simply slowing the CPU performance in order to protect the older batteries.
The cynics pushed back again, asking if that was the case why didn’t Apple tell anyone about it? That one was harder to find an answer for.
Anyway, the company ended up offering cheap battery replacements for an entire year. It also launched new battery health tools that gave users the choice of throttling CPU performance if their batteries began to age.
However, many users alleged they’d already purchased brand new iPhones to replace their slowing devices, when they could have simply replaced the battery for a fraction of the price.
All of this wasn’t enough to prevent the influx of class action law suits for which Apple is now seemingly going to be paying out around half a billion dollars. Still, it’s a relative drop in the ocean for a company that raked in $22.2 billion in profit in the last financial quarter alone.