Apple has settled a lawsuit over its use of performance throttling on older iPhone models, agreeing to pay out around $765 million as a result. However, you shouldnâ€™t start lining up hands-out at your local Apple store in Australia expecting any of that sweet cash.
Apple didn’t actually admit to wrongdoing in the suit, but it will pay out up to $US500 million, or around $765 million as a result. Which seems like a lot of dough for something you’re not actually admitting was “wrong”, but we start to play in the legal definition weeds there.
If you had an iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 or iPhone 7s then Apple’s throttling behaviour may have affected your phone’s performance as the battery aged. Apple’s position was that it did so to to prevent sudden shutdown events or other erratic behaviours. However, it didn’t really make that all that apparent to end consumers, many of whom may have taken the slowing of their iPhones as a spur to upgrade to a newer iPhone model.
However, the settlement is a US legal settlement, and that means you’ve got to be an actual US citizen with an actual US iPhone to even apply for settlement money. Australia isn’t part of the USA â€“ at least not yet â€“ so you’re not going to see a single solitary dime of that money.
If it makes you feel any better, the most any US consumer might see out of Apple would be $US25 (~$38), and it could be less, because the kitty of funds available is going to be split amongst all of those who actually apply. If lots of people do, every individual applicant will get less money, and that’s naturally after the lawyers have taken their cut too.
It’s also fair to point out that Australian iPhone buyers did benefit in a small way relating to this case. As a result of pressure from cranky consumers relating to the publicity around the case, Apple dropped the price of its battery replacement scheme to $39 from its usual $119 (at the time), although that scheme concluded at the end of 2018.
Apple’s current out of warranty iPhone battery replacement pricing runs to $79 for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which covers all the phones that were affected by the upgrade and some newer ones.
If you’re sporting an iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 then battery replacement officially costs $109, but for those newer phones you would be wise to discuss Australian consumer law (which states that goods have to be fit for purpose relative to their price) before laying down your credit card.