Apple Starts Sending 'Batterygate' Settlement Payments to iPhone Users

Apple in 2020 agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit in the U.S. that accused the company of "secretly throttling" some iPhone models, and payouts finally started going out this week to individuals who submitted a claim.

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The website for the so-called "batterygate" settlement said payments would likely start to be distributed this January, and payouts have began on schedule. MacRumors readers Ken Strand and Michael Burkhardt are among the individuals who have received payments of $92.17 per claim from Apple as part of the settlement.

The lawsuit was filed in December 2017, shortly after Apple revealed that it throttled the maximum performance of some iPhone models with "chemically aged" batteries when necessary to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down. Apple introduced this power management system in iOS 10.2.1, but it initially failed to mention the change in that update's release notes. Apple apologized about its lack of transparency, and temporarily lowered the price of iPhone battery replacements to $29 in 2018.

Despite apologizing over the way it communicated the change, Apple repeatedly denied all allegations and never admitted to any legal wrongdoing. Apple said it agreed to the settlement only to "avoid burdensome and costly litigation."

The class included any U.S. resident who owned an affected iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and/or iPhone SE that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later, and/or an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later, before December 21, 2017. The deadline to submit a claim for a payment was in October 2020.

Apple continues to have a performance management system on the iPhone 6 and newer.

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Top Rated Comments

CWallace Avatar
24 weeks ago
One of the times Apple's penchant for secrecy bit them on the bum. It would likely have been seen as positive PR if they had been upfront as to why they were doing it - "rather than have your phone suddenly shut down, we're going to limit how much power it can draw for a short period of time".
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnipgnop Avatar
24 weeks ago
The tech media STILL can't report on this issue correctly.

Throttling was not just for end-of-life batteries. It was also for new batteries that were operating below 20% charge or were operating in cold temperatures. All three of those scenarios could result in voltage demands that the battery couldn't supply which could potentially do permanent damage to the phone hardware.

This was always one of the stupidest lawsuits from a consumer perspective. Without throttling, the phone would simply shut off in either of those three scenarios. All the throttling did was allow the user to continue what they were doing albeit in a slower speed.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bulbousnub Avatar
24 weeks ago
Woke up to three (Two 6 Plus and a 7 plus) $92.17 deposits this morning and was very confused but also very happy.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dynamojoe Avatar
24 weeks ago
Three claims here, three payouts. The sad yet fun part is that Apple is probably just going to get this money back later on.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
24 weeks ago
Mine hasn't shown up yet and I gave them my Apple Savings Acct: #

I tried asking Siri:



Attachment Image
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
24 weeks ago

The tech media STILL can't report on this issue correctly.

Throttling was not just for end-of-life batteries. It was also for new batteries that were operating below 20% charge or were operating in cold temperatures. All three of those scenarios could result in voltage demands that the battery couldn't supply which could potentially do permanent damage to the phone hardware.

This was always one of the stupidest lawsuits from a consumer perspective. Without throttling, the phone would simply shut off in either of those three scenarios. All the throttling did was allow the user to continue what they were doing albeit in a slower speed.
I don't know why you, and several other people, refuse to see the reasons for this. It's not what Apple did, it's that they didn't tell anyone they did it., and there was no way for the end-user to know what was happening.

If they were upfront and said "we're enabling this, and here is how you know if it affects you", there would have been no lawsuit, no case, and no payouts..

Transparency would have solved this.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)