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Apple settles class-action lawsuit over iPhone 4S throttling

Apple has reached a settlement on a class-action lawsuit filed in December 2015 over claims its iOS 9 update throttled the performance of the iPhone 4S. According to MacRumors, the company is willing to pay $15 to each iPhone 4S owner for their poor performance claims.

The lawsuit was filed by Chaim Lerman and 100 other customers from New York and New Jersey who accused Apple of planned obsolescence of the iPhone 4S by knowingly slowing it down following the iOS 9 update. The plaintiffs claimed the company misrepresented the iOS 9 update as being compatible with the iPhone 4S (which came out in 2011) on its website, promising to bring faster performance to the device along with the newer models at the time. Instead, they said the update throttled all the apps, including the Phone app, and rendered their iPhone 4S devices completely useless.

Not only did Apple falsely market iOS 9’s compatibility with the iPhone 4S, but the plaintiffs argued that it didn’t warn them that the update would throttle their phones. The plaintiffs claimed that the company purposefully throttled the performance of the iPhone 4S so that they would have no other choice but to upgrade to a newer phone, which was already an expensive proposition for some of them.

Lerman and the rest of the group originally asked for over $5 million for the damages the iOS 9 update caused to their iPhone 4S devices with the option to seek treble damages. However, Apple said it allocated $20 million to compensate the suing iPhone 4S owners for the gross inconvenience the iOS 9 update caused them. In the settlement motion, the company said it will be setting up a website for other iPhone 4S customers who believe they are entitled to the $15 settlement, where consumers can submit a declaration form establishing that the update damaged their phone.

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