Apple is to pay a settlement of between $310m and $500m to around 3m users of pre-2018 model iPhones whose devices were slowed by software updates, lawyers for Apple have said in a statement.

Users affected by ‘batterygate,’ or software throttling, who filed claims against Apple in 2017 will be able to claim an estimated $65.

iOS updates intentionally slowed, or ‘throttled’, the performance of iPhones which had low-capacity batteries. As the ageing batteries declined, the software would slow the phone’s performance to prevent a complete shutdown.

Users who filed the complaint claimed this was part of Apple’s ‘planned obsolescence’ which aims to artificially limit the lifespan of goods to generate long-term sales volume to force customers to purchase functional replacements.

Apple has admitted no wrongdoing but agreed upon the settlement. The company has claimed the reason for throttling performance was to prolong the lifespan of the devices, rather than to force users to upgrade their phones.

Apple has come under fire for frustrating repairs with its ‘tamper-resistant’ pentalobe screws. The right-to-repair movement has gained traction in some states, with New York passing a right-to-repair law in January 2023.

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In May 2023, Apple fought to block a $2bn mass lawsuit, in a London tribunal, which accused the company of hiding faulty batteries.