Apple to pay customers $750 million


Apple pays out over claims it slowed down iPhones, and the scams to watch out for in 2024. Here are five things you might have missed this week.

Apple to pay customers $750 million

Apple has started paying compensations to customers after a class action lawsuit in the US found the tech giant had deliberately slowed down iPhones.

apple class action starts paying out customers

In 2017, Apple admitted to slowing down older iPhone models. The company claimed the move was designed to improve battery performance, but customers suspected planned obsolescence and that the real motive was to force users to upgrade.

The case was settled in 2020, with Apple denying any wrongdoing but agreeing to pay about $750 million in compensation.

That means each member of the class action, who registered before October 2020, will pocket about $135.

A similar case is underway in the UK, after Apple failed to block the $3 billion lawsuit.

The UK class action is expected to go to trial late this year.

The scams to be wary of in 2024

AI voice-impersonation scams, remote access scams and more romance scams are among the scams Aussies should be on the lookout for this year.

NAB this week revealed the top six scams to watch out for:

1. AI voice-impersonation scams
2. Term deposit investment scams
3. Remote access scams using chat
4. Romance scams
5. Ticket scams
6. QR code phishing scams

"AI voice scams are one of the six we are closely watching in 2024," says Laura Hartley, NAB manager for advisory awareness.

"They can be created with as little as three seconds of audio taken from a social media post, voicemail or video on a website."

Aussies should be wary of any urgent text messages or phone calls that seem urgent.

"Scammers create a sense of urgency to encourage you to act quickly," she says.

"It could be a phone call from your 'son' or 'daughter' in distress and needing money, a fantastic term deposit rate that's only available for a limited time or cheap concert tickets going quickly."

The list comes as 15% of Aussies admit to being scammed, according to new data from Mozo.

Those aged 18-42 years were more likely to be the victim of more than one scam, while Gen Z remained more susceptible than Millennials.

Money as a motivator

Is money more motivating for people living in Western countries? Researchers from the University of Chicago say 'yes'.

Their research, published in Nature Human Behaviour, found financial rewards may be more motivating for people living in "Western, educated, industrialised, rich, and democratic" nations than other countries.

"Motivating effortful behaviour is a problem employers, governments and non-profits face globally," wrote report author Danila Medvedev and her colleagues.

But most studies on motivation are done in Western countries.

The researchers compared how hard people from the US, UK, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa worked in response to money incentives versus psychological motivators.

In a series of experiments, workers received either a fixed salary, a fixed salary plus a psychological incentive, or a fixed salary plus bonus money.

"The advantage money had over psychological interventions was larger in the US and the UK than in China, India, Mexico and South Africa."

Loyalty tax costs Aussies billions

Sticking with the same old energy, mobile and broadband providers is costing Aussies $4.5 billion a year, new research from Finder shows.

That's costing each Australian $331 a year in loyalty tax - but it doesn't have to.

"Providers really want your business - for example, some energy companies are offering $150 in credit or up to 15,000 Qantas points," says Finder tech and utilities expert Mariam Gabaji.

"If you haven't switched utility providers - be it electricity, internet, or phone - in the past 12 months, you're probably paying too much."

Gabaji suggests comparing providers, asking for a better deal and looking for special offers to avoid overpaying on your utilities and other bills.

Motorbike sales down as cost of living bites

Motorcycle sales fell 3.1% in 2023 as the cost-of-living crisis saw Aussie families slashing unnecessary spending.

As many as 40,138 off-road motorbikes were sold, down by 3.7% on 2022, while the 35,122 road bikes sold was a 3% drop on the previous year.

"As Australians manage tighter finances, recreational products are often the first to be affected," says Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber.

"Recreational products, including motorcycles, often bear the brunt of financial constraints during challenging periods.

"The decrease in motorcycle sales underscores the impact of economic pressures on discretionary spending."

Meanwhile, scooter sales jumped 15.4%, which Weber says "points to a change in consumer preferences".

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Sharyn McCowen is Money's digital editor. She has a degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University, and was a newspaper reporter for 10 years before moving to magazines and finance.