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iCloud class action settlement payout won't even buy a cup of coffee

Inside an Apple data center.

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Users of Apple's iCloud in the U.S. are starting to receive notifications they are getting paid from Apple's $14.8 million class-action lawsuit settlement, but that payment will be less than a dollar for most users.

In March 2022, Apple agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over the storage of iCloud user data on non-Apple servers. The payments for that settlement are just starting to be processed, with users receiving notifications of how much they will receive.

However, while the settlement has Apple paying out $14.8 million, given the number of iCloud users the settlement applies to, it shouldn't be surprising that the amount each will receive will be extremely low.

The payout applies to anyone who purchased an iCloud subscription between September 16, 2015 and January 31, 2016. Users also didn't need to do anything to join the class represented in the settlement.

Editorial team members of AppleInsider who had paid iCloud subscriptions for the entire period the settlement applies to have been notified their payout will be just $0.49.

For reference, $0.49 equates to less than two weeks of the lowest iCloud+ tier at $0.99, fewer than five days under the $2.99/month 200GB tier, or under two days worth of service for the $9.99 2TB version.

There can be variations in how much will be paid out to users, with the duration of subscription, capacity options, number of accounts paid for, and other factors determining each payout.

The 2019 complaint alleged that Apple had breached its iCloud server terms and conditions by storing user data on servers run by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, rather than its own. Apple denied it breached its promise that iCloud data is "stored by Apple," but still agreed to pay the settlement amount.

The pitifully low amounts being paid out could be compared to July's compensation offer from Tim Hortons to end lawsuits over geolocation data collection. Under that offer, customers would receive free coffee and doughnuts.