Apple is said to be preparing a $53m deal to settle claims that it mistakenly voided the warranties on a number of iPhone handsets.
According to leaked documents obtained by Wired, the company will pay out the money to settle claims it had previously denied on iPhone and iPod Touch units which had been submitted to the company for recovery.
The case is said to centre on Apple's use of special tamper-seal to detect when users might have violated their warranty. Designed to detect water-emersion, a special paper strip within the headphone jack on the device changes colour when immersed in water, a sign that the device has been exposed to water damage and would not be eligible for free replacement or repair.
According to the plaintiffs, however, the 3M-designed seals were faulty and would occasionally change colour when exposed to humid conditions rather than full immersion in water. The result was devices which were mistakenly identified by Apple as being ineligible for replacement.
The Wired report suggests that eligible users could receive up to $200 from Apple through the settlement fund. The settlement has yet to be formally acknowledged or accepted by the court, no possible date for a ruling on the settlement was given.
The report comes in the midst of rumblings from Asia that Apple could be facing a setback in the build-up to its next iPhone release. Analysts have reported that manufacturing issues are delaying the assembly of new iPhone units, potentially pushing the release of the device back from late June to August or September.
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