In brief: Were you an owner of a Galaxy S4, Samsung’s flagship handset from 2013? If so, the company owes you $10 because of its shady practices.
A few months after its launch, it was discovered that Samsung had added source code to the Galaxy S4 that was able to detect when certain benchmarking software was running, at which point the GPU frequency would jump around 11 percent from 480MHz to 533MHz.
Samsung responded by claiming the maximum frequency for the Galaxy S4 was 533MHz, but it was scaled down for “certain gaming apps that may cause an overload.” This didn’t stop a long-running lawsuit that alleged the company was misleading customers over the performance of the phone.
Samsung argued that only security issues and breaches needed to be revealed to the general public and that it wasn’t legally required to disclose the benchmark-affecting code. But it eventually decided to settle the case.
The Korean giant must pay $13.4 million in damages, which covers $2.8 million in settlement costs and $10.6 million for injunction relief. Taking into account all sales of the Galaxy S4, that $2.8 million translates to $10 per person.
Not only is Samsung paying a fine, but it must also refrain from manipulating benchmark scores on its devices until 2022. While that means it could resort to the same tactics with another Galaxy device in three years, it would likely lead to another lawsuit.
While $10 isn’t exactly a lot of cash, free money is free money. Samsung hasn’t yet released details on how owners can claim their payment, but they’ll likely arrive soon.
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