Apple settles multistate ‘Batterygate’ investigation for $113 million

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iPhone batteries
Batterygate is long over, but Apple is still dealing with the repercussions of a severe lapse in judgement.
Photo: iFixIt

Apple came to a settlement with a group of U.S. state attorneys general over 2017’s “Batterygate.” The iPhone-maker will pay $113 million spread around 30 states to end the investigation.

This comes closer to ending Apple’s problems resulting from not telling customers it was throttling the performance of older iPhones to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down.


End of a years-long investigation

The attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas and Indiana led the investigation. They determined that while Apple had a good reason to slow the performance of older iPhones, it should have informed iPhone users what was happening. As a result, the company sold additional handsets to people who hadn’t realized their device had been deliberately slowed down.

“Big Tech companies must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, in a statement.

Apple settled a class-action lawsuit over “Batterygate” earlier this year. Cupertino agreed to pay up to $500 million in compensation, with users of affected devices getting $25.

Batterygate was a black eye for Apple

In 2017, Apple admitted that it was surreptitiously slowing down aging iPhone models because otherwise the devices could crash when their processor required more power than their nearly worn out batteries could deliver. The multistate AG investigation confirmed the technical problem. But criticized the company for not publicizing the slowdown.

An iOS update released in 2018 ended automatically throttling older devices. However, it gives users of these iPhones the option to do so themselves, especially if their handset crashes because its battery is getting old.