In March, Apple agreed to pay $500 million to settle a United States lawsuit over iPhone performance throttling. Now, the judge in that case has given the deal preliminary approval, with final approval slated to come later.
As reported by Law360, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila told both parties via Zoom on Friday that he wants to extend the final approval deadline because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Judge Davila instructed both sides to confer about a new date “for a final settlement approval hearing that would take place sometime in December.”
During the hearing Friday, class counsel and attorneys for Apple both said the deal is fair, considering the litigation was hotly contested from the get-go and considering class members will receive cash payments of at least $25. They also said Apple has the email addresses for most class members so they think there will be a high claims rate. At the end of the hearing, the judge said he would preliminarily sign off on the deal, which he said is”fair, reasonable and adequate.”
This $500 million settlement would put an end to more than a dozen lawsuits filed against Apple over its decision to throttle iPhone performance based on battery health. Under the deal, Apple will pay out up to $500 million to affected iPhone owners, equivalent to $25 per impacted iPhone.
The lawsuit covers current and former owners of the iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, and 7 Plus who were running the iOS 10.2.1 operating system. Apple has stood firm in its lawsuit that it is admitting no wrongdoing, but instead settling to avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings.
The lawsuit argues that iOS 10.2.1, released in January of 2017, included changes that led customers to believe their phones were nearing the end of their life. This is the iOS update that added the performance management system, with Apple throttling performance on older iPhones with batteries that had aged. It made these changes without communicating any of it to customers until December of 2017.
On the iPhone, Apple now allows users to manage their Battery Health and capacity, and disable performance throttling caused by reduced battery capacity. iOS 13 also quietly added a new Optimized Battery Charging feature, which aims to extend the lifespan of your iPhone’s battery to reduce how often the battery stays at 100% charge.
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