Apple agrees to pay $ 113 million to solve ‘Batterygate’ case of iPhone slowdowns: NPR

A customer compares his iPhone 6 (left) to an iPhone 7 in an Apple Store in Chicago. On Wednesday, more than 30 states announced a deal with Apple over the company’s past practice of slowing a phone’s battery.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

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Kiichiro Sato / AP

A customer compares his iPhone 6 (left) to an iPhone 7 in an Apple Store in Chicago. On Wednesday, more than 30 states announced a deal with Apple over the company’s past practice of slowing a phone’s battery.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

Apple on Wednesday agreed pay $ 113 million to resolve consumer fraud lawsuits filed by more than 30 states over allegations of secretly slowing down old iPhones, a controversy that became known as “batterygate.”

Apple first denied that it intentionally slowed down iPhone batteries, then said it did so to preserve battery life amid widespread reports of iPhones turning off unexpectedly. The company argued that it wasn’t necessary for iPhone users to replace their slow phones, but Arizona-led state attorneys general found that people saw no other choice.

Apple, the most valuable company in the world, has been acting deceptively by hiding the problems of stopping and slowing, according to the court filing.

“Many consumers have decided that the only way to get better performance is to buy a newer iPhone model from Apple,” said Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General. he wrote in a complaint made public Wednesday. “Apple, of course, fully understands those effects on sales.”

According to state investigators, the move increased iPhone sales “potentially by millions of devices per year”.

The slowdown reportedly affected Apple phones released between 2014 and 2016. It first came to light after iPhone users complained on Reddit and tech blogs.

At the time, Apple said the unexpected iPhone shutdowns affected a “very small number” of iPhones, but state investigators say Apple has been working behind the scenes to hide the problem from the public.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the deal. As part of the deal, Apple did not admit breaking any laws or other wrongdoing.

Eventually, in December 2017, Apple admitted battery slowdowns aimed at addressing the device shutdown issue, leading the company to apologize rare.

“We never – and never will do – anything to intentionally shorten the life of an Apple product or to degrade the user experience to encourage customer updates,” Apple declared at the time.

However, the legal challenges continued.

In March, Apple agreed pay up to $ 500 million to liquidate claims for intentional slowdown of older phones. That deal required Apple to pay consumers at least $ 25 for iPhones, even though some consumers who had already spent hundreds of dollars on new devices saw the payments as too little, too late.

As part of Wednesday’s deal, $ 113 million will be distributed across states, including California, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. In Arizona, the funds will cover attorneys’ fees and will be used to fund future consumer protection investigations, according to the state attorney general’s office.

The deal also calls for Apple to run a website that makes iPhone updates that affect batteries “clear and visible” to consumers. The agreement is still awaiting final court approval.

As of 2018, iPhone users have been able to do this better control battery life of an iPhone and check battery status, as well as allowing users to disable iPhone battery throttling.

Arizona Attorney General Brnovich said the deal Wednesday revealed Apple’s deceptive behavior before the company opened to slow users’ batteries.

“The big tech companies need to stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Brnovich said. “I am committed to taking these Goliath tech companies into account if they hide the truth from their users.”

Via: www.npr.org

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