Apple to pay $500m to owners of slowed iPhones

Apple is to pay about $65 to millions of iPhone owners who complained of slowed devices in what their lawsuit declared "one of the largest consumer frauds in history." The total bill will total up to $500m and settles claims the company deliberately slowed down iPhones to address battery problems.

The phones at issue in the case were iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE devices running operating systems iOS 10.2.1 or later before Dec. 21, 2017, and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus phones running iOS 11.2 or later before that date.

According to the lawsuit, filed in 2018, reports of unexplained iPhone shutdowns began to surface in 2015 and increased in the fall of 2016. Consumers complained their phones were shutting off even though the batteries showed a charge of more than 30%, the lawsuit claimed.

The lawsuit claimed the shutdowns resulted from a mismatch between phones' hardware, including batteries and processing chips, and the ever-increasing demands of constantly updating operating systems. Apple tried to fix the problem with a software update, but the update merely throttled device performance to cut the number of shutdowns, the lawsuit claimed.

Mark Frauenfelder, linking to a New York Times story, posted about these iPhone woes a decade ago! I wonder if Apple's long-term support for older devices encouraged the lawsuit. Its preference for blackboxed user experiences "Designed in Cupertino" surely did. A brutal failure mode at the place where implied warranties and clever design meet.