Apple says it did nothing wrong but agrees to pay up to $500 million to iPhone owners, users

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Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6 Plus S during a media event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on September 9, 2015. - Karl Mondon/East Bay Times/TNS

Apple will pay owners and users of certain iPhone models up to $25 per phone as part of a settlement that, if approved by a judge, will see the Cupertino firm pay up to $500 million over alleged secret throttling of phone performance.

The deal, according to filings in federal court in San Jose, is to cover all current and former U.S. owners and users of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE devices running iOS 10.2.1 or later, and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus phones running iOS 11.2 or later, who ran those operating systems before December 21, 2017.

The tentative settlement, awaiting a judge’s approval, would resolve a class-action lawsuit by consumers across the U.S. alleging Apple perpetrated “one of the largest consumer frauds in history” by secretly slowing iPhone performance to address problems with batteries and processors.

Apple, in the settlement agreement, said it “vigorously” disputed the consumers’ claims and that it cut a deal “in order to eliminate the burdens, distractions, expense and uncertainty of protracted litigation.”

The amount that eligible iPhone consumers would receive would depend on how many phones were approved. According to the settlement agreement filed Friday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, if multiplying the number of approved phones by $25 produces a sum higher than $500 million, the cash payment for each phone would be cut on a pro rata basis.

Exactly how many people might be eligible for cash is unclear, but the lawsuit claims millions in the U.S. were harmed by Apple’s alleged behavior.

Under the deal, Apple would provide a settlement administrator with the names, email addresses, mailing addresses, and iPhone serial numbers for everyone who “owned, purchased, leased, or otherwise received an eligible device, and individuals who otherwise used an eligible device for personal, work, or any other purposes.”

The administrator would send settlement information, including a claim form, to the email address of record on the Apple ID accounts of everyone eligible to get settlement money. If Apple does not have a valid email address for an eligible person, the administrator would mail settlement information to that person, according to the agreement.


©2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)