Apple has agreed to pay an additional $113 million to 34 US state prosecutors over the “Batterygate” fiasco, when Apple deliberately slowed down older iPhone models without giving consumers notice.
On Wednesday, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the proposed settlement, which arose from a multi-state investigation. The state prosecutors claim Apple manipulated consumers by introducing a software update in December 2016, which could crank down the CPU processing on iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and SE models.
The CPU throttling was done to address the phones’ aging batteries. However, state prosecutors still fault Apple for concealing the move from the public until December 2017. “Big Tech companies must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” said Brnovich in today’s announcement.
Pending the judge’s approval, the $113 million settlement will be distributed to the 34 state attorneys general offices across the country. However, it isn’t clear if any of the money will go to consumers directly. Arizona will receive $5 million from the proposed settlement, which will be used to fund consumer protection activities, and reimbursing the attorney fees accrued during the investigation. Another $24.6 million is going to California’s state and county prosecutor offices.
“In addition to the monetary payment, Apple also must provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance, and power management,” Brnovich’s office added. Still, Apple has already been offering these battery-management options through iOS, so don’t necessarily expect any huge changes here.
Today’s proposed settlement is on top of the $310 million to $500 million Apple has agreed to pay to US consumers to resolve an earlier class-action lawsuit over Batterygate. By concealing the CPU throttling, Apple allegedly caused some consumers to buy new iPhones.
Affected iPhone owners who submitted a claim by the October deadline are entitled to receive $25 from Apple. Next month, the court will hold a hearing to review whether the settlement is fair.