Apple to Pay $113 Million to Settle State Lawsuits Over iPhone Battery Slowdowns
Apple is shelling out $113 million as part of a settlement negotiated with 34 U.S. states, resolving allegations that the company made misrepresentations about the batteries in certain older models of iPhones and software updates that throttled the devices’ performance.
That’s in addition to the class-action settlement Apple agreed to earlier this year over the same issue, under which it will pay up to $500 million to former and current U.S. owners of Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the first-generation iPhone SE.
Per the settlement with the states, Apple denied any wrongdoing. Under the settlement terms, Apple has agreed to maintain easily accessible and prominent webpages that provide “clear and conspicuous” information to consumers about lithium-ion batteries, unexpected shutdowns and performance management.
The litigation stems from Apple’s iOS software updates, first issued in 2016, designed to prevent iPhones from unexpectedly powering off. The updates slowed down the peak performance of some iPhones to prevent the sudden shutdowns, which occurred when aging batteries weren’t able to fulfill peak performance power demands, according to Apple.
The states (and the plaintiffs in the class-action suit) alleged Apple knew about the defect and failed to disclose it properly — and that the performance throttling caused customers to purchase new iPhones.
In December 2017, Apple apologized to customers and provided an explanation about why it slowed down the iPhones. The company at the time said it would temporarily reduce the cost of battery replacements for affected phones to $29, compared with the regular $79 charge.
As part of the company’s statement, it said that the iOS 10.2.1 update, which it had issued nearly a year earlier, contained power-management features for certain iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
Between December 2017 and June 2018, 66 separate class-action lawsuits were filed against Apple over the iPhone slowdown problem and subsequently consolidated into one case.
Pictured above: Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, released in 2016