After being accused of violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, late last week Apple agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit to the tune of $95 million.
Apple’s Repair Terms (via Mac Rumors) had stated that when repairing or replacing a customer’s device, Apple “may use parts or products that are new or refurbished and equivalent to new in performance and reliability.”
However, the plaintiffs in Maldonado v Apple., Inc., et al. argued that remanufactured or refurbished parts and devices are not the same as brand new when it comes to performance or reliability, something which eventually prompted Apple customers to file a class-action lawsuit back in 2016. And while Apple tried to defend its repair policy in court, court documents indicate that the company eventually decided it would be cheaper to settle the case than continue what would almost certainly turn into a prolonged legal battle.
In the notice of settlement, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California said: “If you purchased AppleCare Protection Plan or AppleCare+ for an iPhone or iPad, either directly or through the iPhone Upgrade Program, on or after July 20, 2012, and received a remanufactured replacement iPhone or iPad, you could be included in a class-action lawsuit.”
While it’s yet to be decided when exactly the settlement will be paid out to the class at large, the lawsuit covers any U.S. residents who received a refurbished replacement device, unless they decide to opt out of the class or seek their own counsel.
Assuming the settlement gets officially approved, after the plaintiff’s lawyers take their cut of the $95 million settlement, an estimated $63.3 to $68.1 million is expected to be paid out to affected individuals. If you think you’ve owned an Apple device that falls under the scope of the settlement, you should be able to find more details on the Replacement Device Lawsuit’s landing page, or simply wait to be contacted via mail/email by Hagens Berman Sobol Sharpiro LLP, who is class counsel in this case.
While Apple gets to avoid admitting fault by settling and also potentially saves money had the trial run its full course, this case marks a win for consumers who need replacement parts or products. Now Apple will supply brand new parts that should support a device’s performance and longevity in the future, or in the case where refurbished parts are used, they are explicitly labeled as such.