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A federal appeals court has ruled that Apple’s $310 million settlement offer to users through iPhone ‘batterygate’ should be rejected and reconsidered due to legal error by lower courts .
In 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila approved Apple’s bid to settle a class action lawsuit over its controversial battery slowdown. Users in 2017 had discovered that the then new iOS 10 intentionally reduced or throttled the speed of iPhones including iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 Plus, and the original iPhone SE.
Apple has refuted a claim that it slows down older phones to trick people into upgrading. The company said that slowing down these phones extends their useful life.
However, Apple did not explain this before issuing the throttle. He later apologized for this and cut the out-of-warranty battery replacement from $79 to $29, for a limited time.
Subsequent court cases focused on how many people were affected and to what extent, but ultimately Apple offered a settlement which the court later approved. However, this decision was appealed by 144 members of the prosecution.
They objected to how the court approved $80.6 million to cover both attorneys’ fees and to pay “service allowances to named plaintiffs.”
Now according to Bloomberg Law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the lower court’s approval. He rejected the settlement offer, however, not on questions about its appropriateness.
Instead, it was overturned solely and specifically because the lower court used the wrong legal standard in its decision.
“The District Court properly resolved most of the objections at issue on appeal,” Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen wrote in her filing. “However, in finding that the settlement was fair, reasonable and adequate, the District Court erred in law.”
“While we welcome the district court’s thoughtful and thorough analysis, which suggests that the court took great care in considering the terms of the settlement,” she continued, “its written order explicitly states that the court applied a presumption that the settlement was fair and reasonable.”
“Because the District Court applied the wrong legal standard when considering the fairness of the settlement,” Judge Nguyen concluded, “we set aside the orders granting final approval of the settlement and the award of fees. , expenses and incentives, and we refer for the application of the correct standard.”
The district court will likely reissue its approval, citing correct legal standards. However, no further details or dates have been released.
On the other hand, Apple was right in what it claimed about how slowing down the iPhone helps preserve overall battery life. To learn more about how battery technology works, see AppleInsidertakes an in-depth look at the science of batteries.