Apple to pay another US$113M to settle iPhone battery claims

Gizmodo

Gizmodo

Apple has agreed to pay an additional $113 million to settle a probe into the "batterygate" scandal when Apple consumers realised in 2017 that the tech giant had been quietly throttling the speed of older iPhones.

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Earlier this year, several states launched an investigation into Apple's iPhone "throttling" practices, aiming to determine whether Apple's slowing of older iPhones through power management "violated deceptive trade practice laws". The Washington Post first reported the news.

Users of Apple iPhone 12 have reported certain display issues in their devices where the iPhone 12 displays some sort of flickering, or a green or grey tint, along with other lighting variations under certain conditions. Replacing a failing battery successfully fixes the problem that leads to shutdowns. The state prosecutors claim Apple manipulated consumers by introducing a software update in December 2016, which could crank down the CPU processing on iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and SE models.

"Apple, of course, fully understood such effects on sales".

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This new investigation was launched by more than 30 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, and IN, according to a press release. The investigators alleged that Apple was aware that its updates were slowing devices down but failed to inform customers of the practice. In addition to the fine, Apple also legally committed to greater transparency.

"My colleagues and I are trying to get the attention of these big tech companies, and you would hope a multimillion-dollar judgment with more than 30 states will get their attention", Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview. "I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they hide the truth from their users", added Brnovich. And in March, Apple agreed to cough up $US500 million in a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company slowed phones to prompt customers to upgrade to newer ones.

"Apple withheld information about their batteries that slowed down iPhone performance, all while passing it off as an update", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

The settlement may sound enormous, but it's worth bearing in mind that Apple boasts an annual revenue of $275 billion - approximately €232 billion.

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