Apple will pay a $US113 million settlement in an investigation into the company's practice of intentionally slowing old iPhones down, a move that some customers perceived as a tactic to force them into purchasing new, more expensive models. The company maintained that it wasn't necessary for iPhone users to replace their phones.
The complaint alleges that Apple used batteries in iPhone 6 and 7 devices that were "particularly susceptible" to performance loss over time. Many users felt that Apple's secretive approach was deceptive and meant to lead them to believe they need a new phone when a fresh battery might keep the old one going for another cycle. Arizona said Apple's present disclosures and options are sufficient.
"My colleagues and I are trying to get the attention of these big tech companies, and you would hope a multimillion-dollar judgment with more than 30 states will get their attention", Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview. "Apple, of course, fully understood such effects on sales".
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but assuming a fairness hearing scheduled for early December finds that the settlement was handled properly, this embarrassing episode should soon be over for the company. State attorneys general say millions of smartphones were affected by the battery issue.More news: Israel Launches Retaliatory Airstrikes in Syria
"We have never - and would never - do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades", Apple stated at the time.
That settlement called for Apple to pay consumers at least $25 per iPhone, though some consumers who had already spent hundreds on new devices saw the payments as too little, too late.
A judge must still approve the agreement, which is separate from a class-action lawsuit in which Apple agreed to pay $500 million to iPhone owners in March.
As part of Wednesday's settlement, $113 million will be distributed among the states, including California, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.More news: Klay Thompson Suffers Lower Leg Injury, League Source Says It's 'Not Good'
Provide information to consumers about the battery in the iPhone user interface (e.g., Settings Battery Battery Health) - for instance: the battery's maximum capacity, its peak performance capability and how the battery can be serviced "once its performance has become significantly degraded".
"This settlement should remind companies that they have a legal responsibility to provide clear and truthful information to their customers and to treat them fairly", Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine said.
Arizona, along with the attorneys general for IN and Arkansas, led the investigation. "I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies accountable when they hide important information from users".More news: 'Wonder Woman 1984' to hit theaters and streaming on Christmas