(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced a $113 million settlement with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. The company’s actions are alleged to have forced some iPhone owners to buy new phones as a result of the diminished performance.
Under the settlement, Apple will pay Idaho $1.28 million. The money, by law, will be deposited into the state’s Consumer Protection Fund, subject to future legislative appropriation.
Based on an investigation involving more than 30 state attorneys general, Apple is alleged to have discovered that battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, Apple concealed the issues from consumers. The company’s concealment ultimately led to a software update in December 2016 that reduced iPhone performance in an effort to keep the phones from unexpectedly shutting down.
The attorneys general allege that Apple’s concealment of the battery issues and decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones led to Apple profiting from selling additional iPhones to consumers unhappy with their phones’ reduced functionality.
“This settlement helps send a message to Apple that its behavior was wrong and damaged consumers in the marketplace,” Wasden said. “It’s important that companies remain honest brokers and actions like this settlement will help deter those who might consider making similar decisions in the future.”
In addition to the payment, Apple also must provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance, and power management. Apple must provide this important information in various forms on its website, in update installation notes, and in the iPhone user interface itself. The company also recently entered into a proposed settlement of class action litigation related to the same conduct. Under that proposed settlement, Apple will pay up to $500 million in consumer restitution.
While the deadline for iPhone owners to submit a claim has passed, consumers can find additional information at https://www.smartphoneperformancesettlement.com/.