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Apple agrees to pay $113 million to settle iPhone 'batterygate' scandal

iPhone 6s Plus
iPhone 6s Plus (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has agreed to pay $113 to settle the iPhone "throttling" investigation.
  • It also committed to being more transparent on similar software changes.

Reported by The Washington Post, Apple will pay $113 million to settle the iPhone "throttling" investigation that has been brought on by almost three dozen states in the U.S. According to the report, the states and Apple agreed to the financial penalty and a legal commitment from Apple to be transparent in the future when implementing similar software changes.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that companies like Apple must "tell the whole truth" when taking actions that affect their customers.

"Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products ... I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users."

Apple's decision to slow down older iPhones like the iPhone 6S in order to preserve their battery life resulted in the investigation which argued that the change didn't prompt users to keep their devices for longer as opposed to forcing them to upgrade to a new phone.

Apple's approach ultimately left many users feeling as if the "only way to get improved performance was to purchase a newer-model iPhone from Apple," the Arizona complaint contends. As a result, the company relied on "unfair and deceptive acts and practices" to boost its sales "potentially by millions of devices per year," according to Arizona's attorney general.

The agreement also demands that Apple be more transparent about changes that would affect an iPhone's power and battery management. The company has already added tools for iPhone users to view and manage their battery, as well as turn off the "throttling" feature.

Apple has declined to comment on The Washington Post's report.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

1 Comment
  • Batterygate should never have happened. Be as foil hatted as you want, but Apple Engineers implemented a mitigation for old batteries. This was all on phones well out of warranty. All batteries loose capacity over time. This results in shorter battery life and reduced surge capacity. At some point the surge capacity can fail to the point of a device shutdown. While still running, you try to do something that demands more power, the battery can't deliver, chokes, and the device shuts down. Rather than let that happen Apple throttled devices with old decrepit batteries. That let them run longer, and prevented unexpected shutdowns. That actually makes an old iPhone viable a bit longer. But NO, people wanted a switch because they were incensed Apple made this decision for them. It was their right to decide for themselves if they wanted crappy battery life, or shutdowns. Well, I get that you can run around with a battery pack cabled to your phone at all times, but geez.