Apple Hit with $9.75m settlement for Powerbeats 2 headphone compensation

Apple is paying up to $189 (£133) in compensation to customers of Apple Powerbeats 2 headphones in the US.

In 2017, a class action lawsuit claimed the headphones did not retain battery life and were not sweat or water-resistant.

The firm paid $9.75m (£6.9m) to settle, but denied all allegations and said it wanted to avoid expensive legal fees.

Anyone who bought Powerbeats 2 earbuds before August 2020 was eligible to receive a payout.

Customers told the MacRumours news site they had now started to receive individual payments from the settlement.

Those users and others on social media reported receiving between $57 and $114, but the court documents say a maximum of $189 could be paid out, with proof of purchase.

But some US customers said they had missed the November 2020 deadline to apply for compensation, and complained their headphones still didn't work.

Apple has been contacted by the BBC for comment.

Class action

Class action lawsuits - where a legal case against a business is brought on behalf of a group of people - are commonplace in the US.

However, these are rarer in the UK.

But there are are currently several high-profile cases against Google, Facebook and TikTok open, on behalf of millions of users of the technology platforms.

"The large amount of the settlement payout by Apply is likely to be reflective of the number of members of the class action," said Jowanna Conboye, technology and intellectual property partner at law firm Spencer West.

"As the settlement agreement held anyone who bought the headphones during the relevant period is eligible for the payout this could be in the hundreds of thousands considering the popularity of Powerbeats 2 in the active earphone market.

"Tactically Apple probably did the right thing in settling the case since it gets much less negative publicity that way and any issues with its product design or manufacture that would form part of the evidence before court remains secret and protected for Apple."