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November 18, 2020

Miller, AGs reach $118 million settlement over iPhone throttling

Apple concealed battery problems from users, lawsuit alleges 

DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller, along with a coalition of more than 30 other attorneys general, announced a $113 million settlement with Apple, Inc. regarding its 2016 decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones.   

Based on the multistate investigation, the attorneys general allege that Apple discovered that battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, however, Apple concealed the issues from consumers, according to the complaint. Apple’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 affected consumers.

“Apple never acknowledged a problem until iPhone customers discovered it and complained,” Miller said. “This settlement ensures the company provides clear and useful information to consumers going forward.”

Under the consent judgment filed in Polk County District Court, Apple will pay $1,517,959 to Iowa. In addition to the monetary 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. 

Apple recently also entered into a proposed settlement of class action litigation related to the same conduct. Under that proposed settlement Apple will pay out up to $500 million in consumer restitution to eligible iPhone users. For more information, go to https://www.smartphoneperformancesettlement.com/

In addition to Iowa, the settlement was signed by AGs from the following states: Alaska, Arizona , Arkansas, Connecticut, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota , Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada , New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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