PHOENIX (AZ) – On Wednesday, the Arizona Attorney General announced a multi-tiered $ 113 million deal with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to slow consumer iPhone speeds to resolve unexpected shutdowns on some iPhones.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, along with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, led the investigation of Apple through more than 30 states.
According to a press release from the AZ AG bureau based on the investigation in several states, Brnovich claims Apple found that battery problems caused iPhones to shut down unexpectedly. However, instead of exposing these issues or replacing batteries, Apple has hidden the issues from consumers. Apple’s obfuscation ultimately resulted in a software update in December 2016 that reduced iPhone performance to prevent the phones from unexpectedly shutting down.
The attorneys general allege that Apple’s cover-up of battery issues and the decision to throttle the performance of consumer iPhones led Apple to benefit from selling additional iPhones to consumers whose phone performance Apple slowed.
“Big tech companies need to stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Brnovich said. “I am determined to hold these Goliath technology companies accountable if they hide important information from users.”
As part of the proposed settlement, Apple will pay Arizona over $ 5 million. In addition to paying cash, Apple must provide consumers with truthful information about the condition, performance, and energy management of iPhone batteries. The AZ AG office said Apple must provide this information in various forms on its website, in the installation instructions for updates, and in the iPhone user interface itself.
Recently, Apple also settled class actions related to the same behavior, and as part of that settlement, Apple will pay out up to $ 500 million in consumer refunds. You can find more information about the settlement here.