NOVEMBER 19, 2020
Apple Inc will have to pay $113 million to settle allegations that it slowed down iPhones in an effort to make its users upgrade to newer models. The new deal made with several US states is separate from the proposed $500 million settlement that the Cupertino tech giant faced for the allegation in March this year.
Now having the moniker of ‘Batterygate’, Apple was charged for discreetly updating software on models of the iPhone 6, 7 and SE back in 2016. The software update was meant to slow down the processing speed, in response to the aging batteries on iPhones that caused the devices to shut down unexpectedly.
Apple only came to acknowledge the update once researchers discovered the unusual slowdowns in 2017. Following this, several US states contended that Apple should have disclosed the issue and replaced old batteries on the iPhones instead of acting deceptively and hiding the issue from its users.
Apple has denied that the slowdown was for financial gain and has declined to comment on the settlement so far
But in Arizona, one of the states that charged the tech major, Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote in a court document made public on Wednesday: “Many consumers decided that the only way to get improved performance was to purchase a newer-model iPhone from Apple.
“Apple, of course, fully understood such effects on sales,” he added, as quoted in a report by BBC. The court filing further mentions that millions of users were affected by the power shutoffs.
“My colleagues and I are trying to get the attention of these big tech companies, and you would hope a multimillion-dollar judgment with more than 30 states will get their attention,” Brnovich said in an interview. “Companies cannot be disingenuous and conceal things,” he added.
As reported by Reuters, the $113 million settlement includes $5 million to Arizona, $24.6 million to Apple’s home state of California and $7.6 million to Texas. California and Texas are reported to have the US’ number 1 and number 2 affected iPhone user bases respectively.Brnovich said the penalty in his state would help fund more investigations into tech and other companies. The proposed settlement with states is subject to court approval.