Apple to Pay $35 Million Settlement Over iPhone Audio Issues: See If You’re Eligible

Affected consumers could qualify for a payout of between $50 and $394 under the settlement.
Apple to Pay $35 Million Settlement Over iPhone Audio Issues: See If You’re Eligible
A woman uses an iPhone as she passes the Apple store at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, on April 14, 2023. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
Katabella Roberts

Americans who purchased certain iPhones from tech giant Apple and experienced audio issues with their devices may be eligible to claim from a $35 million settlement pool, although they need to act fast.

Consumers could qualify for a payout of between $50 and as much as $394 under the settlement, the result of a lawsuit known as Tubak et al v. Apple Inc, filed against Apple in May 2019.

The legal challenge was filed by a group of plaintiffs who claimed to have purchased iPhone 7s in 2017, only to find that they began to experience issues the following year.

According to the lawsuit, Apple “concealed” a “material defect” that ultimately caused iPhone audio features to become unresponsive and fail their essential purpose as phones.

“Apple has long been aware of the Audio IC Defect, yet, notwithstanding its longstanding knowledge, Apple routinely refuses to repair the iPhones without charge when the Audio IC Defect manifests,” plaintiffs wrote in their lawsuit against the company.

The group of consumers further stated that many iPhone owners communicated with Apple’s employees and agents to request that the tech firm remediate or address the audio issue without charge, but the company refused or failed to do so.

“As a result of Apple’s unfair, deceptive, and/or fraudulent business practices, owners of the iPhones, including Plaintiffs, have suffered ascertainable losses,” the lawsuit stated. “The unfair and deceptive trade practices committed by Apple were conducted in a manner giving rise to substantial aggravating circumstances,” it added.

The lawsuit concluded that had the plaintiffs known the iPhone 7s had audio defects at the time of purchasing them, they would not have bought them or they would have paid substantially less for them

Apple has denied the allegations in the lawsuit, including that the devices had audio issues. The company has also denied any wrongdoing.

However, it agreed to settle the case for $35 million last year.

The company also began notifying customers who were eligible to receive compensation from the lawsuit settlement via email or postcard notification earlier this year.

Who Is Eligible to Claim?

Customers who purchased an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus affected by the microphone audio issues may be eligible to claim from the settlement.

However, the settlement is restricted to residents of the United States who owned one of those phone models between September 16, 2016, and January 3, 2023, and complained to Apple about the issue covered in the settlement or paid the company for a repair or replacement due to the issue.

It is important to note that individuals who decide to stay in the settlement case will forgo their right to sue Apple in a separate lawsuit related to the alleged audio issues in the iPhone 7 or 7.

A woman uses her iPhone in a file photo. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman uses her iPhone in a file photo. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

How Much Will I Receive?

Consumers who opt in for the payout will receive varying amounts based on whether they paid Apple for a repair or replacement due to an audio issue, and whether they complained to Apple about the problem but did not pay to have Apple repair the phone or replace it.

Members of the lawsuit who paid money to Apple to repair or replace their iPhones—as reflected in Apple’s records—and who do not opt out and submit payment information to the settlement administrator in a timely manner will receive an equal payment of at least $50 and no more than $349.

Those who reported the issues to Apple but who did not pay the company for repairs or replacements for the audio issue will receive an equal payment of up to $125.

How to Submit Your Claim

The deadline to submit a claim is June 3, 2024, according to a settlement-related website.
Claims must be submitted via the settlement website, which can be found here.
Individuals who opt to receive the payout must inform the settlement administrator by June 3 whether they wish to receive the payment via electronic check, ACH transfer, or physical check.

They must also ensure that they provide the correct e-mail address, banking information, or mailing address for the payment to be made.

Individuals who purchased an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus that was impacted by the microphone audio issues but are unsure if they’re included in the settlement class can find more information here.

Alternatively, they can call the toll-free number listed on the settlement-related website: 1-833-633-0343.

A final hearing on the settlement will be held in July at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.