Apple to pay up to $500M over battery-related phone slowdown

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An iPhone is seen in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. The San Bernardino County-owned iPhone at the center of an unfolding high-profile legal battle between Apple Inc. and the U.S. government lacked a device management feature bought by the county that, if installed, would have allowed investigators easy and immediate access. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — iPhone owners could get $25 from Apple after the company agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle claims over intentionally slowing down older phones to preserve older batteries.

Apple and lawyers representing iPhone consumers agreed to a deal stemming from Apple’s 2017 admission that it was slowing down phone performance in older models to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

That admission led to Apple offering discounted battery replacements at $29, but many people claimed they had already spent hundreds of dollars to buy new phones because Apple didn’t reveal the cause of the problem. If they had known they could just buy new batteries, they might not have bought new phones, some consumers in the case said.

Apple did not admit wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, the company will pay $310 million to $500 million, including about $93 million to lawyers representing consumers.

IPhone users who were named in the class-action lawsuit will get up to $3,500 each. The rest of the settlement money will be distributed to owners of iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and SE models who meet eligibility requirements related to the operating system they had running. They must file claims to get the award. If too many people file, the $25 amount could shrink.

A federal judge in San Jose, California, still needs to approve the settlement.

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