Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Wednesday that he and 33 other state attorneys general have reached a $113 million settlement with Apple regarding the company’s 2016 decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones.
Hill and the other attorneys general allege that Apple discovered battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Instead of replacing the batteries or disclosing the issues, Apple concealed the issues from consumers. Apple’s concealment ultimately led to a software update in December 2016 that reduced the performance of iPhones to keep them from shutting down.
The attorneys general allege that Apple profited off its concealment of the battery issues because the company then sold additional iPhones to consumers who had their previous phones’ performance reduced, officials say.
“Apple likely believed it found a clever way to not only get around its iPhones’ battery issues, but also profit by manufacturing additional issues into those faulty phones,” Hill said. “Unfortunately, those deceptive business decisions will now cost the company millions of dollars. It is our hope that from now on, Apple is transparent about problems with its devices.”
Under the settlement, Apple will pay the state of Indiana $4,890,219.99, all of which will go to the Agency Settlement Fund. In addition to the payment, Apple must provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance, and power management. Apple must provide this important information in various forms, including on its website, in update installation notes and in the iPhone user interface itself.
(This story was originally published on Nov. 18, 2020)