Apple agrees to pay certain iPhone 4S users as much as $15 to settle lawsuit

You remember the iPhone 4S, don’t you? That was the first iPhone to come with the Siri virtual assistant. Even though Apple used the same “S” naming scheme with the iPhone 3G, some said that the “s” in iPhone 4S stood for “Siri.” That would be a brilliant deduction if we could simply assume that Siri was supposed to debut on the iPhone 3GS and somehow Apple forgot to include it.

After six years Apple settles a lawsuit involving the iPhone 4S

A group of iPhone 4S owners filed a class-action lawsuit in December 2015 complaining of performance issues with their handset that they experienced following the September 2015 iOS 9 update. One member of the class, Chaim Lerman, said back in 2015 that his iPhone 4s was running slower and no longer functioning normally. As a result, he said that users feel as though they have to “spend hundreds to buy a new phone.”

The main issue was that the Plaintiffs accused Apple of misrepresenting the software update. The suit says that Apple promoted iOS 9 as being compatible with the iPhone 4S and “would improve or ‘enhance performance’ for its customers that downloaded the software update. Instead, Plaintiffs contend, iOS 9 significantly slowed down the performance of their iPhone 4S devices.” 

Apple promoted the iOS 9 update by stating that it was “Faster and more responsive.” The company added that it makes more efficient use of the CPU and GPU to deliver faster scrolling, smoother animation, and better overall performance.” Apple also said that web pages, emails, and messages render faster with the update.

After bouncing around the legal system for over six years, today a settlement was announced as Apple agreed to put together a $20 million fund to compensate iPhone 4S owners in New York and New Jersey who experienced poor performance on their iPhone 4S after installing iOS 9. The settlement will pay $15 to each plaintiff although that amount could be lowered if more valid claims than expected are submitted.

Those who believe that they are entitled to the $15 need to “submit a declaration under the penalty of perjury that, to the best of their knowledge, (1) they downloaded iOS 9, or any version thereof, onto their iPhone 4S; (2) they lived in New York or New Jersey at the time that they first downloaded any version of iOS 9; and (3) their iPhone 4S
experienced a significant decline in performance as a result.”

Apple will create a website and a toll-free phone number for consumers

Apple will create a website and a 1-800 toll-free phone number that will keep consumers up to date. The fact that this case has been running for over six years means that you can chalk this up as another victory for the lawyers. According to a court filing, the case generated 48,000 documents producing 539,000 pages, 15 depositions (including the plaintiffs, 11 Apple employees, and the Parties’ class certification experts), and 770 pages of experts’ reports.

Both sides have taken this lawsuit as far as they wish it to go and both are pushing the settlement to the court. The latest court filing seeks approval for the settlement from the Plaintiffs and from Apple and calls the $15 payment a successful outcome of the case because “Apple argued throughout the litigation that even if Plaintiffs succeeded in proving their claims, which Apple vigorously contested, actual damages as measured by the secondary market price did not exceed $15 per device.”

The original pricing in the U.S. for the iPhone 4S was $199 for the version with 16GB of storage, $299 for the 32GB unit, and $399 for the 64GB model. This pricing was for consumers willing to sign a two-year contract with their carrier. Non-subsidized pricing varied between Verizon and AT&T, the only two U.S. carriers that sold the iPhone at the time.

At AT&T the 16GB iPhone 4S was priced at $449 without a contract. The 32GB model cost $549 and the 64GB variant was $649. Verizon pricing was $200 higher for each tier.

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