Apple’s $500 Million “Batterygate” Lawsuit Nears Conclusion

Apple is set to compensate millions of iPhone users in what is described as “one of the largest consumer frauds in history.” The lawsuit, initiated over allegations of slowed devices, will see Apple shelling out up to $500 million in settlements.


The lawsuit, filed in 2018, centered around claims that Apple deliberately slowed down specific iPhone models to tackle battery issues. Models in question include:

  • iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE running iOS 10.2.1 or later before Dec. 21, 2017.
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus running iOS 11.2 or later before the said date.

Consumer complaints emerged as early as 2015, peaking in the fall of 2016. The complaints revolved around iPhones turning off despite their batteries indicating over 30% charge. According to the lawsuit, the cause was a discrepancy between the phone’s hardware components, like batteries and processing chips, and the constantly updating operating systems. Apple’s attempt to remedy this with a software update only resulted in throttling the device’s performance.

Mark Frauenfelder highlighted these iPhone issues a decade ago in a New York Times article. The implication was that Apple’s consistent support for older devices might have indirectly encouraged the lawsuit.

Litigation Progress

Apple initially agreed to the $500 million settlement in March 2020. The stipulated minimum payout stands at $310 million, which roughly translates to around $65 for each iPhone user filing a claim. Two iPhone owners had appealed against the terms of this deal, seeking a larger payout. However, their appeal was rejected by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ensuring the settlement’s progression. The claims submission deadline was set for Oct. 6, 2020. Approximately 3 million claims have been filed since, confirms Tyson Redenbarger, a lawyer associated with the case.

Impact on Brand Image and User Trust

The “Batterygate” incident served as a poignant lesson for major tech companies, especially those with global consumer bases. Apple, renowned for its brand loyalty and top-tier products, faced severe backlash, which momentarily dented its impeccable image. Users, who once held the brand in the highest regard, were left questioning Apple’s authenticity and commitment to delivering a consistent user experience.

Key Points:

  • Each qualifying claimant is set to receive about $65.
  • Apple’s agreement required them to supply the claims administrator with details of all eligible iPhone owners or lessees.
  • Unfortunately, the claim window has since closed, with the deadline being October 6, 2020.

Lessons Learned:

  • Transparency is Key: When implementing significant changes, especially those that can affect device longevity or performance, full disclosure is imperative.
  • Consumer-Centric Approach: It’s vital for corporations, regardless of their size, to prioritize consumers’ needs and concerns.
  • Open Channels of Communication: Providing users with platforms or channels to voice concerns can preemptively address issues, mitigating potential PR crises.

Global Implications and Continued Controversies

Though this legal battle draws to a close in the U.S., Apple still faces challenges worldwide. In May, another lawsuit targeting Apple emerged, demanding $2 billion over the same batterygate controversy. While Apple denounced the claim as “baseless,” no subsequent developments have been reported.


As Apple prepares to conclude this massive lawsuit, new concerns surface with the iPhone 14 battery. Nonetheless, the class-action settlement remains a significant chapter in Apple’s history. It underscores the importance of transparency and consumer trust, especially when software updates can significantly impact device performance.

Leave a Comment