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British Columbia Supreme Court approves $14.4 million settlement in iPhone class action



The British Columbia Supreme Court has approved a multimillion-dollar nationwide settlement in a class-action lawsuit against Apple over software updates that allegedly slowed down older iPhones.

“We are satisfied with the results,” said KS Garcha, a lawyer for the group. “It was a complex matter.”

Garcha said in an interview that the judge in the case approved the settlement during a hearing Tuesday.

Class members making claims in the $14.4 million settlement can expect to receive between $17.50 and $150 each, depending on how many people submit a claim for the money from the regulation, he said.

The agreement covers eligible residents of Canada, excluding those in Quebec, which Garcha said represents approximately nine million people.

The settlement process took a few years, with Apple agreeing to a “compromise” without admitting any wrongdoing, Garcha said.

Going to trial rather than a settlement could have taken “a long period of time,” he said.

“The court may not approve some of the claims you make, there is an issue with how the damages were quantified, there are potential appeals,” he said.

The company “vigorously defended the case until settlement negotiations,” Garcha added.

He said the class action involves new legal theories that the company installed software on devices without owners’ consent.

People with iPhone models covered by the settlement have six months to file a claim, and the online process requires a person’s name, address and iPhone serial number.

Individuals must also swear that they downloaded or installed certain software updates on various iPhone 6 and 7 models before December 21, 2017.

They should also have “experienced a decrease in performance on this device after installing or downloading the corresponding iOS version.”

The settlement agreement with Apple will see the company pay out between $11,137,500 and $14,427,500 depending on the number of claims filed and approved.

The claims website for the “Canadian iPhone Power Management Class Action” states that Quebec residents are excluded from the settlement because there is a separate case pending in that province’s courts .

The B.C. lawsuit was originally filed in 2018, and Apple settled a similar case in the U.S. over so-called throttling of the iPhone 6 and 7 models, and Garcha said U.S. members of the group ended up with payments of US$92.

At a hearing in Vancouver in late January, Apple lawyer Jill Yates told the court that the company had never admitted wrongdoing.

“Apple, all along, has taken the position that it did nothing wrong here,” she said. “These claims are new and Apple does not acknowledge that anything was done unlawfully.”

The company did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on the settlement approval.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2024.


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