Apple agrees to pay half a billion for slowing older generation iPhones

Three years ago Apple admitted to slowing down older iPhone generations - a self-professed effort to address the inevitable chemical ageing of its lithium batteries.

Now, the company has agreed to pay up to $500 million (£384 million) to affected consumers.

Reuters reported that a preliminary settlement was disclosed last Friday night; it calls for Apple to compensate older generation iPhone consumers $25 per device.

In response to being the subject of substantial public backlash, Apple issued an apology this past January, explaining iOS’ ability to adapt to ageing battery systems.

"First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” Apple said.

"As lithium-ion batteries chemically age, the amount of charge they can hold diminishes, resulting in shorter amounts of time before a device needs to be recharged.

"With a higher chemical age or colder temperatures, users are more likely to experience unexpected shutdowns. For iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iOS dynamically manages performance peaks to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down so that the iPhone can still be used."

According to Apple’s apology, iOS interference causes users to experience longer app launch times, frame rate reductions, and lower speaker volumes, among a number of other problems.

Apple denied all wrongdoing and settled to avoid litigation costs, Reuters reported.

Back in 2018, Apple attempted to appease customers with faltering batteries by slashing replacement costs from $79 to $29.

The current settlement agreement - which is subject to approval by a judge on 3 April in California - will close the legal battle; one which has persisted for two-plus years with Apple forced to contend with global backlash.