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Apple will reimburse American iPhone 7 users who encountered audio problems related to the “Loop Disease”

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In order to resolve a class action lawsuit in the United States, Apple last year agreed to pay $35 million. The lawsuit claimed that a defective chip in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus was the cause of the handsets’ audio problems. Reportedly, the company has now begun notifying the eligible users via email.

According to details, in order to be eligible, the following conditions must be met, including that the user must be a US resident who owned an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus from September 16, 2016, to January 3, 2023, reported audio issues and paid the company from their pocket to repair or replace the device. In case a user assumes that he is eligible but has not received a notification, he can submit a claim by sending an email to info@smartphoneaudiosettlement.com.

The company has shared all the relevant details, like payment method, objection to the settlement, or dropout, on the settlement notice website. The proposed settlement, which needs to be approved by a California court on July 18, offers up to $349 to those who paid Apple out of pocket and up to $125 to others. Several reports were filed against Apple in 2019, indicating that consumer protection laws were violated and warranties were breached. Apple has accepted a settlement but has denied any misconduct, and the judge considering the class action has not found in the plaintiffs’ or Apple’s favor.

What is Loop Disease?

According to an internal document, the company accepted that some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models had microphone issues. The document stated that users were facing problems with the microphone that was not working after the iOS 11.3 update. Besides this, the speaker button greyed out during calls, and users on the call were unable to hear the consumer. Although the company acknowledged the problem internally, no solution or service program was extended to the company.

According to details, the material used in the external casing of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is unable to protect the internal parts of the device. Due to this issue, the electrical contact between the audio chip and the logic board is lost because of the flexion of the device’s external casing during normal use. There is no data on how many units of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were impacted.

Initially, the company claimed that service providers could ask for a warranty exception that granted a free repair to certain consumers. However, the company ended the program in July 2018 and deleted the official document. Some users were then required to pay an out-of-warranty cost (about $300) in order to get the issue fixed. After years of silence, those customers will at last be able to receive a portion of their money back from Apple if the deal is accepted.

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