Apple to pay $113 million to settle state investigation into iPhone ‘batterygate’

Apple will pay $113 million to settle an investigation by nearly three dozen states into the tech giant’s past practice of slowing customers’ old iPhones in an attempt to preserve their batteries.

The company’s much maligned throttling efforts drew nationwide scorn when they came to light in 2017, stunning consumers who at the time saw it as an attempt to nudge them into buying newer, more expensive devices. States led by Arizona, Arkansas and Indiana soon opened a probe of the matter, and on Wednesday, they secured a financial penalty and legal commitment from Apple to be more transparent in the future.

“Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement. “I’m committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users.”

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Apple to pay $113 million to settle state investigation into iPhone ‘batterygate’

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(Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg News)

By Tony RommNovember 18, 2020 at 2:18 p.m. EST

Apple will pay $113 million to settle an investigation by nearly three dozen states into the tech giant’s past practice of slowing customers’ old iPhones in an attempt to preserve their batteries.

The company’s much maligned throttling efforts drew nationwide scorn when they came to light in 2017, stunning consumers who at the time saw it as an attempt to nudge them into buying newer, more expensive devices. States led by Arizona, Arkansas and Indiana soon opened a probe of the matter, and on Wednesday, they secured a financial penalty and legal commitment from Apple to be more transparent in the future.

“Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement. “I’m committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users.”AD

Investigators from 34 states and the District of Columbia, including Democratic and Republican attorneys general, joined the settlement. Apple declined comment for this story, and its agreement with the states does not require it to admit guilt. The company in 2018 tweaked its settings to make its battery-management practices clearer to users.

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