Apple to pay $113M settlement over its iPhone ‘batterygate’ downturns

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Apple landed in hot water over its handling of users’ batteries.


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Apple is paying $113 million to settle an examination by 34 states and the District of Columbia over the business’s practice of decreasing the efficiency of older iPhones when their batteries break down. The practice wasn’t revealed by Apple however rather shown by web sleuths. That led regulators and consumers alike to slam the business for not being upcoming, especially when inquired about it in the past.

“Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who assisted lead the examination, stated in a declaration. “I’m committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users.” Apple will pay Arizona in specific $5 million, with the rest split to name a few states. The Washington Post previously reported the news.

In court filings, Apple stated it had actually consented to the settlement to solve the examination, however it included that “nothing contained herein may be taken as or construed to be an admission or concession of any violation of law, rule, or regulation, or of any other matter of fact or law, or of any liability or wrongdoing, all of which Apple expressly denies.” 

“No part of this judgment, including its statements and commitments, shall constitute evidence of any liability, fault, or wrongdoing by Apple,” the business stated in the filings.

The news is the most recent example of how huge tech is coming under ever more analysis from regulators and legislators. Though the “batterygate” legend, as it’s understood, took place prior to bigger tech scandals like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica information personal privacy and political elections scandal, the occasion marked a turning point for the iPhone maker. 

For years, Apple rejected accusations that it deliberately decreased iPhones, however the conspiracy theory continued, arguing that the tech giant made the handsets less functional to press individuals to update — a practice described as prepared obsolesce. When Apple confessed decreased iPhones — though for a various factor, it stated — the news drew attention from around the world.

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices,” Apple stated in a preliminary declaration on Dec. 20, 2017, as it dealt with installing criticism. It described that when older batteries can’t provide sufficient power when phones are trying more-complex jobs, like playing a computer game, it slows the phone’s chips down to a level the battery can carry out at.


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Critics cried foul, and just over a week later, Apple formally apologized while insisting it acted in the best interest of customers. It also offered a $29 battery replacement for a limited time to anyone who asked, rather than charging the typical $79. And it added features to its iOS software that better explained how iPhone batteries work and gave people the choice to preserve battery life or push their phone’s performance.

Shortly after apologizing over batterygate, Apple began including software features to be more transparent about how it handles batteries.


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“We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that,” Apple said at the time. “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize.” 

Still, lawsuits and investigations followed. In March of this year, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit, in which the company agreed to pay customers $25 per iPhone, with a minimum payout of $310 million. It covered current and former iPhone owners in the US who had an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus or SE running iOS 12.2.1 or later. It also covered the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus running iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017. 

At the time, Joseph Cotchett, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement that “the settlement provides substantial relief to Apple consumers and, going forward, will help ensure that customers are fully informed when asked to update their products.” Apple denied any wrongdoing.

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