Remember when you swore your iPhone was working worse after the new model came out? Turns out you were right.
As a result of “batterygate,” which alleged Apple secretly slowed down old iPhones, the tech company will have to pay $113 million to settle consumer fraud lawsuits from more than 30 states.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led the settlement. The complaint alleged that Apple’s concealment of battery issues and decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones led Apple to profiting from selling more phones to consumers whose phone performance had been slowed by Apple.
“Although consumers eventually learned the truth about Apple’s secret throttling, Apple reaped the benefits of that throttling for about a year,” Brnovich explained in the complaint. “Apple told many of those consumers that their batteries did not need to be replaced. As a result, many consumers decided that the only way to get improved performance was to purchase a newer-model iPhone from Apple.”
According to NPR, the slowdown affected iPhones released between 2014 and 2016. Apple affirmed the problem was occurring only in a small number of iPhones, but ended up apologizing in December 2017 for the extent of the issue. However, the company never admitted to any illegal wrongdoing and will not have to under the settlement. Apple’s website now offers a deep dive into understanding iPhone performance and its relation to the battery.
Arizona alone will receive $5 million from Apple, which will also be required to provide truthful information about iPhone battery health, performance and power management. The suit follows a recent class action litigation related to the same conduct. Under this settlement, Apple will pay up to $500 million in consumer restitution.
“Big Tech companies must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Brnovich said. “I’m committed to holding these goliath technology companies accountable when they conceal important information from users.”