In late 2017, Apple admitted what many had long suspected: It was using software updates to slow down older devices. The company said this throttling was necessary to prevent random shutdowns in devices with older batteries. However, the secrecy around the move and the simple fact that people with slow phones buy new phones fueled the belief that it was a ploy to get people to upgrade.
Batterygate, as the scandal came to be known, led to a class-action lawsuit that was settled earlier this year. Payments are going to be sent out to those affected by the slowdown. Here’s how to know if you deserve one and what you can do to make sure you get it.
Who is eligible?
Anyone in the United States who currently owns or previously owned one or both of the devices below.
- an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and/or SE device that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later before December 21, 2017
- an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus device that ran iOS 11.2 or later before December 21, 2017
How do I file a claim?
A website has been set up to collect claims. You can also exclude yourself from the lawsuit, object to the settlement or attorneys’ charges, and read a bunch of legal documents about the case, if that’s your thing.
If you had more than one affected device, you should file a claim for each one.
Claims must be received by October 6.
How am I supposed to remember which phone I had three years ago?
You don’t have to! The website has a tool that lets you look up your old phones using your Apple ID (the email address associated with your Apple account) and contact information. It does require you to select the model you think you had, but there are only seven options so trial-and-error won’t take too long.
How much money are we talking about?
Apple agreed to pay out a minimum of $310 million and a maximum of $500 million. That should work out to about $25 per device, though that amount could go up (if there are fewer claims than expected) or down (if there are more claims than expected).
When will I get paid?
The settlement has yet to be approved by a judge, and there’s a final hearing scheduled for December 4. Assuming that a judge signs off then and there are no appeals, payments will start going out “promptly” via direct deposit and paper checks, which you can choose when you file a claim.