Apple, U.S. states reach $113 million settlement on iPhone throttling


On October 23, 2020 in Sydney, Australia, customers lined up outside the Apple Store in George Street to see the new iPhone 12 for sale.

James D. Morgan | Getty Images

State officials announced Wednesday that Apple would pay $ 113 million to settle charges from 33 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The deal with an alliance led by Arizona, Arkansas and Indiana is different from a proposed settlement Apple reached in March to pay affected iPhone owners up to $ 500 million to take a class action.

Apple quietly updated the software to chip speeds on models of the iPhone 6, 7 and SE in 2016 so that aging batteries on the device would not send power spikes to the phone’s processor and shut it down unexpectedly. The states stated that Apple acted deceptively and that they should replace the battery or disclose the problem.

Millions of users were affected by the power shutdown, according to an Arizona court.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview, “Me and my colleagues are trying to get the attention of these big tech companies, and you’d expect multi-dollar decisions with more than 30 states to get their attention . “

He said, “Companies cannot be derogatory and hideous things.” ”

Apple, which denied wrongdoing, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Apple agreed to provide “true information” about iPhone power management in its website, software update notes and iPhone settings for the next three years. Arizona stated that Apple’s current disclosures and options are sufficient. The agreement with the states is subject to court approval.

Apple’s multilevel investigation, which Reuters first reported in July, is part of a wave of investigations at the world’s largest technology providers.

The Republican attorney general joined the US Department of Justice in an antitrust lawsuit against Google of Alphabet Inc in 11 US states last month, and large, bipartisan groups of attorney generals in general over Google and Facebook Inc. over potentially deceptive and anticompetitive practices The investigation has continued.

In 2017, Apple accepted its updated low power demands after researchers reported an unusual slowdown. The company publicly apologized for the public replacement and slashed prices.

The agreement includes $ 5 million in Arizona, $ 24.6 million in Apple’s home state of California, and $ 7.6 million in Texas. The latter two states have the country’s NOS 1 and 2 affected iPhone user base. Brnovich said fines in his state would help in the investigation of tech and other companies.

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