If you were an iPhone user back in 2017, something weird happened: Apple essentially confirmed a conspiracy theory about its own products. Consumers have long wondered if personal electronics had a time limit — that is, whether manufacturers intentionally designed devices that fail when an upgrade comes out. Lots of experts came out against planned obsolescence, until Apple got socked with a bunch of lawsuits alleging evidence of just that.
In fact, the makers of the iPhone had made adjustments to the product's battery life, which the company said was intended to preserve and protect performance. The slowdowns were imposed on consumers, however, instead of opt-in, which leads to this week's announcement of a settlement claim for affected users. Apple is shelling out $500 million, or up to $25 per claimant, for anyone who can show evidence that they currently or previously owned:
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- An iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and/or an iPhone SE that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later before Dec. 21, 2017
- An iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017
You can visit a designated website to see if you're eligible and to submit a claim of your own. If you don't have your affected device's serial number, the website features a tool on the claims submission form where you can look it up. It will be a while before Apple disburses any of the money; more court proceedings are due in December. But if you were affected by "batterygate," this is a quick and simple way to let Apple buy you dinner in the future.