Published: Sun, November 22, 2020
Economy | By

Apple pays R1.7 billion for slowing down old iPhones

Apple pays R1.7 billion for slowing down old iPhones

Apple on Wednesday agreed to pay $113 million to settle consumer fraud lawsuits brought by more than 30 states over allegations that it secretly slowed down old iPhones, a controversy that became known as "batterygate". Most users reported that they noticed the issue in group threads, either when someone responded to a message they hadn't seen or reacted to it, per reports on the issue on Apple's community forum.

Apple denies that the slowdown was for financial gain. Apple then changed course and admitted it pushed software updates causing the phones to slow down, but claimed it was to prevent them from shutting down due to issues with the battery. Several users complained about the issue on the Web, though Apple didn't make any acknowledgement initially.

After the throttling was discovered, Apple apologized and launched a battery replacement program that saw the company offering batteries for older devices for $29.

As part of this settlement, Apple will be forced to explain how it handles battery health and other power-related measures to users.

Julie Steinberg of Bloomberg Law initially reported the settlement is a joint complaint between the same 66 class-action lawsuits between 2017 and 2018.

In March, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle claims of intentionally slowing down older phones.

Users of iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 will be eligible for $25 payouts. The new settlement includes USD 5 million to Arizona, USD 24.6 million to California, and USD 7.6 million to Texas. For Arizona's share it will be used to pay for the attorney fees and to fund future investigations relating to consumer protection.

"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.

"I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they hide the truth from their users", he said.

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