Apples agrees to pay $500m over intentionally slowing down older iPhones

Tech giant agrees to cough up $500m over slowing down older phone models

IPhone owners in the US could be set to receive a cash windfall from Apple after the global technology giant agreed to pay up to $500m (£391m) to settle claims over intentionally slowing down older phones to preserve older batteries.

Apple and lawyers representing iPhone consumers agreed to a deal stemming from Apple's 2017 admission that it was slowing down phone performance in older models to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

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That admission led to Apple offering discounted battery replacements at $29 (£19.56), but customers in the United States claimed they had already spent hundreds of dollars to buy new phones because Apple didn't reveal the cause of the problem. If they had known they could just buy new batteries, they might not have bought new phones, some consumers in the case said.

IPhone owners in the US could be set for a cash windfall. Picture: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato

Apple did not admit wrongdoing.

IPhone users who were named in the class-action lawsuit will get up to $3,500 each. The rest of the settlement money will be distributed to owners of iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and SE models who meet eligibility requirements related to their operating system. Customers must file claims to get the award, though the $25 amount could shrink if too many people come forward.

A federal judge in San Jose, California, still needs to approve the settlement.

The ruling comes one month after Apple was fined 25m euros (£21m) in a related case.The fine was imposed by French competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF.