Apple has agreed to pay Chilean consumers $ 3.4 million in a lawsuit over overprogrammed iPhones’ obsolescence, their lawyer said on Wednesday, the first such settlement in Latin America.
Apple is accused of having programmed a limited lifespan in certain products to force users to replace their phones earlier than necessary and has already settled similar cases in the United States and Europe.
In Chile, some 150,000 iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus and SE users sued the U.S. company, claiming their smartphones began to underperform after software updates Apple scheduled before the December 21, 2017.
The agreement provides for a registration period for affected customers, who will have to provide proof of the reduced performance of their devices, lawyer for consumer organization Odecu, Juan Sebastian Reyes, told a virtual press conference. .
Each customer is entitled to a maximum compensation of $ 50, which must be shared if there is more than one claim per serial number, as in the case of used phones.
In December 2017, Apple admitted that the iOS software had been modified to slow the performance of older iPhones with deteriorating battery life.
An outcry has forced Apple to upgrade its software and offer big discounts on battery replacement.
In March 2020, Apple agreed to pay up to $ 500 million to settle a class action lawsuit against slowed down iPhones in the United States, followed in November by an additional $ 113 million to settle a lawsuit with more than 30 US states on the same problem.
The company also settled a case with the French consumer watchdog for 25 million euros ($ 29.7 million) for failing to tell iPhone users that software updates could slow devices down more. old.
Italy, for its part, has fined Apple and Samsung € 10 million and € 5 million respectively for planned obsolescence of smartphones.