Apple To Pay $113 Million Settlement Over Claims It Purposely Slowed Down iPhones
Apple will have to pay up for withholding information about batteries that slowed down how iPhones performed, all in the guise of an update.
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Remember those claims that Apple slowed down some older phones to extend battery life? Well, now the tech giant will have to pay up. Per CBS News, Apple reached a settlement for $113 million in a case that alleged it intentionally slowed down phones, and misled users about the purpose of certain updates.
The larger issue was the battery that came with the iPhone 6 and 7. The complaint against Apple, filed by 34 states and Washington, D.C., says that those batteries were "particularly susceptible" to a decline in energy output and conservation. The phones' programming led them to shut down and crash more often, in the absence of consistent power from the battery. Rather than replace the batteries, Apple sent out an update that they claimed would improve power management. However, the complaint claims it merely throttled the phones and led to decreased performance and usability.
"Apple withheld information about their batteries that slowed down iPhone performance, all while passing it off as an update," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement announcing the settlement. "This type of behavior hurts the pockets of consumers and limits their ability to make informed purchases."
In addition to the settlement, Apple has agreed to provide "clear and easily visible information" on its company website, telling consumers how it is handling any current or future battery performance issues. It will also add a notice to any update that might "materially [affect] iPhone processing performance." Though Apple has agreed to the punitive terms of the settlement, it also contains a clause that absolves the company of any admission of guilt or wrongdoing.
"Nothing contained herein may be taken as or construed to be an admission or concession of any violation of law, rule, or regulation, or of any other matter of fact or law, or of any liability or wrongdoing, all of which Apple expressly denies," the settlement states.
The settlement is the second that Apple has been ordered to pay over allegations that it slowed down older iPhones. A class-action lawsuit that ended earlier this year had the company on the hook for as much as $500 million in payouts to users who were affected by the software updates.
That's far from the only legal trouble Apple is facing at the moment. The company is currently dealing with two antitrust lawsuits, one being a class-action brought by developers and the other filed on behalf of Fortnite developers Epic Games. The software company alleged that Apple's App Store was violating laws against monopolies with its complete control over the marketplace of eligible apps on the iPhone. The inciting incident occured after Apple booted Fortnite from their market when it was discovered that Fortnite sold in-game purchases that did not provide Apple with a 30% cut.
“Apple’s repeated assertions of theft boil down to the extraordinary assertion that Epic’s collection of payments by players of Epic’s game to enjoy the work of Epic’s artists, designers, and engineers is the taking of something that belongs to Apple,” Epic wrote in its complaint.