Apple may soon compensate customers for iPhone throttling

Apple iPhone customers may soon be compensated by the Cupertino, California-based compnay for its initial approach to iPhone throttling. Federal District Judge Edward Davila preliminarily approved a maximum $500 million settlement for customers who complained that Apple slowed down certain iPhones without informing them, calling the deal “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

Apple may soon compensate customers for iPhone throttling. Image: Apple's iPhone 7
Apple’s iPhone 7
Ben Mahaney for SmarterAnalyst:

According to Apple, the throttling technique was done to extend the lifespans of phones by reducing the likelihood of sudden phone shutdowns as their batteries wore down over time. The company failed to disclose and explain that to customers, however, which led some customers to think that purchasing a new phone would solve the problem. The lawsuit covers people who used the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and original iPhone SE before December 21st, 2017.

The proposed settlement would pay each iPhone user $25, or up to $500 per person if the total payouts, attorney fees and expenses don’t reach a minimum of $310 million.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re all about to get very, very rich!!!

However, Davila would like to postpone a final approval hearing on this iPhone throttling settlement until December, citing concerns about COVID-19, so we’ll have to wait for our windfalls. 🙁

All joking aside, half a bil is an expensive lesson, not to mention the bad publicity, that’s likely taught Apple how to properly communicate with their customers on matters such as iPhone throttling.

Apple handled this poorly and deserves to learn a lesson so that the company properly communicates with customers in the future.MacDailyNews, August 1, 2019

There’s no excusing this one. Apple deserves the ongoing headache. Hopefully, when all is said and done and paid, the company will have learned an important lesson about transparency and communication with their customers.MacDailyNews, February 27, 2018

You can see why some think that Apple wanted to keep what they were doing a secret. If people knew that a $79 battery replacement would give them an iPhone that performed like it did on day one, a meaningful percentage would take that option versus buying a new iPhone. Now that it’s just $29 this year, that percentage will naturally increase.

Then again, as Hanlon’s razor states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Apple’s made up of people. People are imperfect. We’ll take Apple’s word for it that they “always wanted… customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible” and that they “have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.” — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

Again, it’s Apple’s lack of communication that is the problem here. If Apple had clearly explained what was going on in the software, we’d know to recommend a battery replacement when users complained their older iPhones were getting “slow.” As it was, we were pretty much left to assume that the processor/RAM wasn’t up to par with demands of newer iOS releases and we’d naturally recommend getting a new iPhone.

Just yesterday, we had a friend complain that his iPhone 6 was acting “slow” and we knew to recommend a battery replacement (even though he instead opted to get himself an iPhone X on our strong recommendation).MacDailyNews, December 29, 2017

As has almost always been the case with Apple, unfortunately, transparency comes later, not sooner, and usually as a reaction to negative publicity. A simple Knowledge Base article would have preempted all of this Reddit sleuthing and the attendant handwringing and erroneous presumptions.MacDailyNews, December 20, 2017

The settlement covers U.S. owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus or SE that ran the iOS 10.2.1 or later operating system. It also covers U.S. owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017.

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