Apple to Pay $113 Million in “Batterygate” Settlement

The $2 trillion tech company is seeking to settle allegations that it deliberately slowed down older iPhones.

Apple is set to pay $113 million to settle a case alleging that it deliberately deceived customers by slowing down older iPhones, which the company has previously stated was intended to extend the life of the phones’ batteries.

The case was brought by 33 US states. The state attorneys general said that Apple had issued a 2016 software update on its iPhone 6, 7 and SE models which throttled chip speeds, which they alleged was done to compel users to buy newer devices. Millions of users were affected by iPhone slowdowns as a result of the update, according to a filing in Arizona.

“Many consumers decided that the only way to get improved performance was to purchase a newer-model iPhone from Apple,” wrote Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in a court document made public on Wednesday. “Apple, of course, fully understood such effects on sales.”

Though it apologised for the slowdown and offered affected users $29 battery replacements, Apple has never acknowledged any wrongdoing and does not admit to breaking any law in the settlement. It has also for the next three years  to provide “truthful information” about iPhone power management on its website and in its software update notes and iPhone settings apps.

This is the second settlement that Apple has reached over its throttling of older phones, following a $500 million class action lawsuit that it settled in March. A fairness hearing for this settlement is scheduled to be held on 4 December.

The latest settlement has not yet received judicial approval.

Apple is the most highly valued company in the world, boasting a $2 trillion market cap and annual revenue of $275 billion. It is currently locked in a legal dispute with Epic Games over the handling of microtransactions in the iOS version of its flagship video game Fortnite.

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