Apple is reportedly paying $113 million to settle an investigation by 34 US states. The Cupertino tech giant‘s practice of slowing old iPhones has come under this investigation.
The company’s practice of throttling the speed of older iPhones drew nationwide concern in 2017. Apple claimed that they did that to protect the phones from battery degradation. They also offered a battery replacement of $29.
But lawsuits kept coming and the company agreed to a $500 million class-action settlement earlier in the year.
Later 34 states came forward and opened a probe into the matter. Led by Arizona, Arkansas, and Indiana, the states attorneys general sued Apple for burying their practices of throttling and battery degradation from customers. They said that Apple knew they could spend a year making a profit off of their customers. They stated that the customers thought they needed a new iPhone when in fact, they just needed to replace their battery.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement, “Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products. I’m committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users.”
The states have managed to procure penalty and a legal commitment from Apple
The states managed to close a financial penalty and legal commitment from Apple to be more transparent in the coming future. Investigators from all 34 states and the District of Columbia also joined the settlement along with Democratic and Republican attorneys general.
Apple has denied any allegations and the agreement doesn’t require them to admit anything either. They haven’t made any further comments.
Apple has tweaked its settings in 2018 to make battery-management practices clearer to users.
The iPhone giant came into the limelight in 2017 when customers started realizing that their old iPhones have started slowing down and switched off suddenly. This happened frequently when the users updated to a newer version of Apple’s mobile operating software, iOS. The company came under Congress’ crosshairs as CEO Tim Cook saw himself testifying to Congress almost regularly. This incident is also dubbed as “batterygate”.
In the following December, Apple admitted its practice of throttling speeds of older models. They said that they had tweaked their technology in an attempt to preserve the batteries of their older models. Apple stated that these older models would later demand excessive power from their dated batteries resulting in unexpected shutdowns and other malfunctions. These older models included the iPhone 6S.
The nationwide criticism led to Apple issuing a public apology, a rare one in the company’s history.