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Apple begins paying iPhone users over claims it slowed down devices

Apple has reportedly started making payments to US owners of certain iPhone models over claims handsets are slowed down.

Complainants are due about $92 (£72) for each affected model owned as part of a maximum $500m (£394m) total payout.

The sum only applies to owners in the US and covers the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus and SE if they ran iOS 10.2.1 or later before 21 December 2017 – along with iPhone 7 or 7 Plus on iOS 11.2.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, RUSSIA - March 17, 2019: lithium ion black battery from Apple iPhone 6 and smartphone Apple iPhone 8 and Apple iPhone 6 on a blue background.

It comes as UK owners await developments in a similar case against Apple that was given the go-ahead in November last year.

In 2020, Apple had agreed to settle a lawsuit filed in 2017 that accused the firm of purposely slowing phones over time – though it has not admitted wrongdoing.

According to the settlement website, payments to eligible US complainants are expected over the course of this month, with some already reporting they have received payback.

What does this mean for the UK?

The UK case, brought by consumer champion Justin Gutmann, was allowed to proceed in court at the start of November last year.

Mr Gutmann claims the tech giant deceived up to 25 million customers by “throttling” their devices without their knowledge.

It did so via software updates that diminished the performance of older handsets over time, the lawsuit claims.

The models allegedly affected include the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus.

Mr Gutmann has accused Apple of exploiting its market dominance in the UK by effectively forcing people to pay for replacement batteries or entirely new phones.

Apple previously admitted slowing down the performance of older iPhones with flagging batteries, but said it was necessary to protect their components.

Mr Gutman is seeking damages of up to £1.6bn, with the midpoint range being £853m.

Apple also previously paid $113m (£93m) to settle a similar case in Arizona, and $500m (£413m) to settle another in California.

source

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