August 14, 2020

iPhone owners affected by ‘Batterygate’ can now file for a settlement

US residents with an iPhone 6, 6s, or SE variant will qualify.

  • Apple now allows eligible iPhone owners to file for “Batterygateâ€� settlements.
  • You’ll only receive $25, however.
  • US residents with an iPhone 6, 6s, or SE variant will qualify.

Months after Apple agreed to pay a settlement over its long-running “Batterygate� saga, you can finally ask for compensation — although you shouldn’t expect a windfall.

MacRumors has learned that US residents can now file a claim to receive a roughly $25 settlement if they’re eligible. To qualify, they need to have owned an iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, or iPhone 7 variant running at least iOS 10.2.1 (for iPhone 6 and 6s units) or iOS 11.2 (for iPhone 7 models) before December 21, 2017.

Claims have to be submitted either online or via mail by October 6, 2020.

The typical payout is short of the $29 it cost to replace an iPhone battery as part of a temporary discount, let alone the original $79 price. This isn’t surprising given that class action settlement payments rarely offset the costs to customers, but it still leaves affected iPhone users out of pocket if they paid for a new battery or replaced their phone early.

Apple had good intentions, but it ended up frustrating users.

The claim process ends a long drama. The class action lawsuit was filed in December 2017 after users discovered that Apple was throttling iPhone CPUs once a handset’s battery capacity degraded beyond a certain point. The feature (introduced in iOS 10.2.1) was meant to extend the longevity of iPhones by preventing sudden shutdowns, but a lack of transparency from Apple frustrated users and led to accusations of intentional obsolescence.

Apple addressed the issue both through the temporary battery replacement discount and through iOS 11.3. The update disabled throttling by default and introduced a battery health feature to keep users better-informed. You could even disable the feature even if a shutdown activated it.

In that light, the settlement is secondary. The discovery of the issue and the resulting lawsuit prompted long-lasting reforms that improved the experience for iPhone users going forward, not to mention many other smartphone owners anxious about battery life.

Next: iPhone buying guide: Which Apple phone is right for you?