In what marks a significant turn in the ongoing saga of the iPhone 7’s audio problems, Apple Inc. has recently initiated a substantial compensation process for affected users. The “iPhone 7 speaker issues,” a topic of discussion and legal scrutiny for over six years, is now approaching a resolution. Last year, Apple consented to a $35 million settlement in a US Action Lawsuit accusing the tech titan of deploying defective chips in the phones, leading to notorious audio glitches.
The Roots of the Issue in iPhone 7 Series
Back in 2019, multiple lawsuits were filed across various US states against Apple concerning the audio troubles in the iPhone 7. The lawsuits highlighted serious concerns, alleging that Apple violated consumer protection laws and failed to honor warranties. The core of these complaints centered around the materials used in the external casing, deemed insufficient to safeguard the internal components. Consequently, users faced numerous audio-related issues, notably a ‘grayed out’ speaker button during calls, inaudible conversations during cellular or FaceTime calls, and a non-functional Voice Memo app. This cluster of defects was collectively termed “Loop Disease.”
Apple acknowledged a microphone issue in certain phones back in 2018. However, the total number of devices impacted by this problem has never been disclosed.
Apple to Pay iPhone 7 Users in U.S. Who Experienced 'Loop Disease' Audio Issueshttps://t.co/Fi7DGMNshb
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Identifying Eligible Users for Compensation
One of the questions that are on the minds of many people who have an iPhone 7 is: Who is eligible for this compensation? The prerequisites are evident. Any person who resides in the United States and has a documen͏ted complaint with Apple regarding the audio͏ concerns that are included in the settlement is eligible for the settlement. ͏This includes anyone who purchased an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus between September͏ 16, 2016, and January ͏3, 2023. In addition, those who have in͏curred costs through the repair or replacement of their mobile devices as a result of these concerns are eligible to receive compensation.
Understanding the Compensation Details
Under the proposed settlement, affected users of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus can receive up to $125. Moreover, individuals who paid out of pocket for repairs or replacements due to the covered audio issues can claim up to $349. Important deadlines are looming, with the final date to object to the settlement, choose a payment method, or opt-out set for June 3, 2024. The final approval hearing by a California court is scheduled for July 18, 2024. Detailed information is available on the Smartphone Audio Settlement website.
Despite agreeing to this settlement, Apple maintains its stance, denying any wrongdoing. The agreement comes at a time when the Cupertino-based firm has been experiencing a turbulent beginning to the year 2024. This settlement adds another chapter to Apple’s difficult year, which already included a split in the AppStore to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) of ͏the European Union and a revision of the cri͏teria for the App Store following ͏the legal battle between Apple and Epic Games in 2021.
Final Thoughts About the Settlement for iPhone 7 Users
For affected iPhone 7 users, this settlement brings a long-awaited sigh of relief and a semblance of justice. Apple is currently navigating these challenging waters, and it is currently unknown how the company’s policies and its relationships with its customers will be influenced by these events in the future. Keep up with this developing story by staying tuned for further updates.