In 2017 Apple admitted to using software to slow down the performance of old iPhones, so as not to damage them. A choice that has cost it dearly
It has cost Apple dearly the "smart" maneuver of slowing down old iPhones to push its users to buy a new smartphone: the Cupertino company has in fact agreed to pay up to $500 million in compensation.
It is an average compensation of $25 per device, but the figure could go up to $46, depending on several factors, and each case will be evaluated individually. In the best case scenario, one in which all users are compensated at the minimum, Apple will spend $310 million. Apple, by the way, denies slowing down iPhones but agrees to pay to end the lawsuit for good. According to Apple, the slowdowns stem from high temperatures and other external factors. This affair dates back to 2017, when Apple was involved in several court cases for a software modification that, according to the company, served to protect the phones from overheating.
Which users will be compensated
To be compensated will be the U.S. owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus or SE running iOS 10.2.1 or later. Also covered are U.S. users of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with iOS 11.2 or later purchased before December 21, 2017. Lawyers for the users who sued Apple are satisfied and consider the compensation "fair, reasonable and adequate".
Other costs for Apple
To the costs resulting from the compensations, Apple will have to add those to pay the lawyers of the users who sued it: 93 million euros, or 30% of 310 million. Other 1,5 million are instead of other expenses related to the procedure. Finally, to these figures must be added the indirect costs in bad publicity and those resulting from the fact that, after it was discovered that Apple slowed down the iPhones, the company also had to lower by quite a lot the cost of replacing the batteries of its old smartphones: from $79 to $29.
Why Apple slowed down the iPhones
The battery issue is central in this affair, which dates back to late 2017. Apple, which does not admit to any wrongdoing, is accused of purposely slowing down iPhones to compensate for the degraded battery performance of older smartphones. According to Apple, the software change that would slow down iPhones was necessary to prevent a safety mechanism provided by its smartphones that, if the phone gets too hot, causes a sudden shutdown of the device to prevent further problems.