In a lawsuit against Apple, 34 attorneys general have won a combined $133 million settlement due to a controversy many call “batterygate.”
The lawsuit is centered around allegations that Apple had throttled certain models of iPhones in order to avoid unexpected shutdowns, instead of notifying customers of the issue. The attorneys general alleged that millions of iPhones worldwide had been purposely slowed by the company to keep the phones from crashing when a simple battery swap would have solved the issue.
The prosecutors claimed Apple knew iPhone batteries were the source of the unexpected shutdowns of its phones, but they deliberately kept public information limited while attempting to make the issue seem less common. In order to prevent more phone crashes, Apple updated many iPhone models in a way that throttled the phones and made them slower.
iPhone models that appear to have been affected include the following:
- iPhones 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE devices
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
To settle the lawsuit, Apple agreed to pay $133 million distributed among 33 states and the District of Columbia. They also agreed that future updates affecting phone performance would be more transparent.
This is the second settlement from Apple this year related to batterygate. In March, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to owners of the throttled phones.
“Smartphones aren’t conveniences: for millions of people, they’re lifelines. In joining this investigation and settlement, we’re holding Apple to account for their secret meddling with their own customers’ phone performance — and we’re making sure they tell the truth in the future,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a press release.
In 2016, Apple throttled iPhone speeds instead of disclosing that phones had battery trouble or fixing the problem. MN joined more than 30 states in investigating. Apple will now pay MN a $2M penalty—and we’ll make sure they tell the truth in the future.https://t.co/cO88lURzTr— Attorney General Keith Ellison (@AGEllison) November 18, 2020
More than two million consumers in Minnesota were affected by the throttling, and the state will receive just under $2 million of the settlement, according to Attorney General Ellison’s office.
“Part of affording your life is getting what you were promised,” said Ellison.