Sci-tech

Apple reaches $150 million settlement with US states on iPhone throttling

Apple reaches $150 million settlement with US states on iPhone throttling”

Apple, which has denied wrongdoing, declined to comment on the settlement.

Apple recently entered into a proposed settlement of class action litigation related to the same conduct, and under that proposed settlement Apple will pay out up to $500 million in consumer restitution.

The lawsuit, brought by 33 states and the District of Columbia, claimed Apple mislead its customers into believing they needed new devices, instead of letting them know they could upgrade their batteries and avoid numerous issues they were dealing with.

"Apple withheld information about their batteries that slowed down iPhone performance, all while passing it off as an update", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose state will receive $24.6 million from the settlement.

The attorneys general allege that Apple's concealment of the battery issues and decision to throttle the performance of consumers' iPhones violated state consumer protection laws.

Under terms of the agreement, Apple will provide information about how it manages power performance on a "prominent and accessible" website, notify all affected consumers when an update will affect their phone and inform users on the device about whether they should update the battery.

Almost 3.5 million iPhones in New Jersey were affected by the battery performance issues and undisclosed throttling, Grewal said. Arizona said Apple's present disclosures and options are sufficient.

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"Companies can not be disingenuous and hide things", he added. "This type of behavior hurts the pockets of consumers and limits their ability to make informed purchases". Apple's concealment ultimately led to a software update in December 2016 that reduced iPhone performance in an effort to keep the phones from unexpectedly shutting down.

The settlement comes after a series of other allegations against Apple. "Apple, of course, fully understood such effects on sales".

Apple didn't disclose the issues or allow consumers to replace their iPhone batteries - even at full, out-of-warranty cost - unless the batteries failed Apple's own diagnostic tests, which "did not account for the very issue that was causing the UPOs", the attorney general said. State attorneys general say millions of smartphones were affected by the battery issue.

Apple continued to sell tens of millions of iPhones with known throttling issues in the USA throughout 2017 and didn't even acknowledge the problem until public outcry prompted an apology that December, Grewal said.

The new update "allowed consumers, for the first time, to disable the throttling mechanism, and to have more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery", Grewal said.

Millions of users were affected by power shutoffs, according to an Arizona court filing.



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