Six years of litigation concerning Apple's claims to be slowing down older iPhones through its iOS 9 upgrade may end if the plaintiffs petition the courts to approve a significantly less settlement.
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In 2015 an action by a group concerning planned obsolescence argued for Apple to pay damages in the amount of no lower than 5 million, possibly reaching $15 million. The suit claimed Apple had falsely advertised iOS 9 as compatible with the iPhone 4s.

Apple did not deny this, and according to the plaintiffs, this denial ended up being parts 48,000 documents and 539,000 pages. The plaintiffs are calling for an ending to this trial.

“After more than six years of fought litigation,” write the plaintiffs in a memorandum to the court, “counsel recognizes the serious risk the parties would be facing should the litigation proceedings.”

“The Plaintiffs and the Parties possess a thorough knowledge regarding the strength and weakness of their respective positions,” it continues, “as they have successfully prosecuted Apple’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification, as well as the Apple rule 23(f) Petition. In addition, they have conducted extensive discovery both at the merits and class certification phases of this case.”

Accordingly, the plaintiffs state that they are aware “the Parties would resume complex lengthy, expensive, and costly litigation” if it were not settled. Therefore, the plaintiffs present a settlement argument before the court as “the result of a vigorous campaign and arms’-length negotiations between counsel representing all parties, who have experience of complex and complex actions and cases involving allegations of deceitful and misleading advertisements and unlawful business practices.”

Instead of the initial $5 million-to-15 million compensation, The settlement proposed asks for “class members who make valid claims will be awarded 15 dollars per admissible iPhone 4S device.”

“This is a good result,” maintain the plaintiffs, “because Apple argued throughout the case that even though the Plaintiffs had succeeded in proving their claim, which Apple was adamantly disputing, the actual damages, as determined through the secondary market price, were not more than $15 for each device.”

The court filing, first spotted by¬†MacRumors, is the “Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of a Class Action Settlement.” The document was initially submitted to the US District Court Eastern District of New York on March 5, 2022.

The group, which comprises more than 100 participants, said that iOS 9 bogged down their iPhone 4s devices to the point that they were insufficient for everyday use. After the upgrade, both applications from third-party and first-party sources had a delay in the launch time and slow responses to input from touchscreens and other issues. Overall performance dropped; however, some users, including Lerman, experienced freezes and crash-related events.

The lawsuit continued to state that Apple, through “internal testing or other channels,” was well aware of the negative effect of iOS 9 on the iPhone 4’s functionality. Despite this, it was alleged that the company carried out a wide marketing campaign that promoted more performance, better security, more battery life, and other appealing features. The suit further claims that the company’s advertisements, website, and iOS update pages do not inform users of older hardware, including iPhone 4s devices, of the possibility of compatibility issues.

Apple had to face similar accusations during the year 2011 by plaintiffs who filed a class-action lawsuit that claimed that iOS 4 turned their iPhone 3G into “bricks.” The case was dropped one year later, but users claim “planned obsolescence” because of the increased demand for resources as operating systems keep popping up with each major Apple release.