A proposed settlement would require Apple to pay between $310 and $500 million to iPhone owners impacted by the iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.0 updates, which allegedly caused some iPhones to slow down. Under the proposed settlement, Apple would give Settlement Class Members $25 for each iPhone owned that could have been impacted, although the amount may change depending on the number of claims and attorney’s fees.
This settlement was based on a proposal by mediator Judge Layn R.. Phillips on September 27, 2019, after several day-long mediation sessions and extensive discovery in which Apple produced 7 million pages of documents. “The Parties accepted the proposal, with continued involvement by the mediator throughout the process of negotiating a term sheet and long-form settlement agreement,” the notice of proposed settlement stated. The parties will meet for a hearing on the motion for approval of the settlement on April 4, 2020. Apple is represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Covington & Burling. The Plaintiffs, including 66 underlying class action complaints, are represented by various lawyers including Tadler Law.
Apple released a statement on December 20, 2017, about a feature in its iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2 software which was created to avoid unexpected shutdowns, however, users reported slower phone speeds. Apple allegedly confirmed the findings of slower speeds, but disputed the comments that they were causing the slower speeds to sell more iPhones. “Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple said in a statement to The Verge. They said the update was attempting to address an issue with older batteries to keep them from shutting down when they were using peak power.
The plaintiffs in the case said the proposed settlement is fair. “Given the complexity of this litigation, the potential difficulty of proving certain elements of the Settlement Class’s claims, and the continued risks if the Parties proceeded to class certification, dispositive motions, and trial, the Settlement provides an immediate and substantial cash benefit to Settlement Class Members, represents a favorable resolution of this Action, and eliminates the risk that the Settlement Class might otherwise recover nothing.” the court document states.
Apple devices that could be eligible if the proposed settlement is approved include Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE devices owned by those living within the United States. The $25.00 estimate could increase or decrease “depending on the amount of any Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, Named Plaintiff Service Awards, notice expenses, and the aggregate value of Approved Claims.” the document states. If those have been paid and the amount has not yet reached the minimum payment of $310 million, the rest of the money will go towards increased payments for some Settlement Class Members. If there is not enough money in the $500 million for all of the Approved Claims, the payment will be reduced.