A coalition of 33 attorneys general announced a settlement with Apple, Inc. yesterday concerning the tech giant’s throttling of iPhones. The case alleged that in 2016 Apple furtively decided to slow phones down due to battery issues that were causing unexpected shutdowns.
The consent decree follows an investigation by the attorneys general that revealed Apple’s failure to disclose or remediate the matter. According to a press release, “Apple failed to inform consumers about the reduced performance of the phones, leaving many consumers to believe that they needed to upgrade to a new iPhone, when a battery replacement would have solved the performance problem.”
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge commented on the matter, stating that, “we rely on companies like Apple to provide the service it promised and that consumers have paid for. Arkansans will not be taken advantage of by any businesses attempting to deceive them and I will not hesitate to stand up to companies taking advantage of hard working Arkansans, no matter how large.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel remarked that “Apple knowingly misled consumers and instead of disclosing the issue or even allowing simple battery replacements, Apple instead chose to implement a ‘fix’ that only created further issues for users and allowed the company to reap financial rewards of that deceit.” She added, “I am grateful this resolution seeks to hold Apple accountable for its actions and requires the company to take measures to avoid this misleading practice going forward.”
Each settling state will receive a proportion of the settlement. According to CNBC, the settlement apportions $5 million to Arizona, $24.6 million to Apple’s home state, California, and $7.6 million to Texas. The latter two states represent the country’s first and second most impacted iPhone user bases, CNBC reported.
Other suits have made similar complaints against Apple. In the Northern District of California earlier in October, a company accused Apple of engaging in unfair business practices by requiring software updates for certain Apple iPhones that slowed the devices and reduced their performance. The class action claimed that Apple intruded upon devices that the plaintiff, Best Companies, Inc., bought, when Apple “secretly” updated them, thereby diminishing their performance.