Arizona Attorney General Leading Multi-State Probe on Apple iPhone Throttling

Apple is facing another probe on its iPhone "throttling" practices, this time from Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich, reports Reuters.

iphone 6s battery
The probe, which may also involve Texas, has been ongoing since October 2018 and is attempting to determine whether Apple's deliberate slowing of older iPhones "violated deceptive trade practice laws."

Last week, reports suggested that Texas was involved in an investigation aiming to determine whether Apple deceived customers, though no other information was available at the time. It's likely that the probe in Arizona is linked to the Texas report, with both states looking into Apple's 2017 ‌iPhone‌ slowdown practices.

As many MacRumors readers know, Apple in iOS 10.2.1 (which was released in early 2017) introduced a performance management system designed to eliminate unexpected shutdowns by throttling the maximum performance of iPhones with chemically aged batteries.

Apple did not disclose how its power management system worked, leading to customer outrage when it was discovered ‌iPhone‌ performance was being downgraded. Apple said that this was to make sure that the ‌iPhone‌ lasted as long as possible, even as the battery failed.

After it was discovered that Apple was limiting ‌iPhone‌ performance, Apple apologized and ultimately launched a battery replacement program that saw the company offering replacement batteries for older devices for $29. Replacing a failing battery successfully resolves the problem that leads to shutdowns, which is why power was limited by Apple in the first place.

In addition to offering low-cost battery replacements for a year, Apple has also agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit over the issue.

Apple's performance management system is now disabled by default and it turns on only if an ‌iPhone‌ suffers an unexpected shutdown. Even then, it can be disabled, and Apple also provides much more detailed information on battery health so customers can opt for a replacement when necessary.

Top Rated Comments

macbookfan Avatar
8 months ago
Consumer: My old phone shuts off randomly when I’m using it.
Apple: here have a free software update that keeps your phone on.
Consumer: Apple slowed down my phone!

No matter what someone is always not happy.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
8 months ago

Do you accept apples apology?
for fixing a problem of iPhones shutting down during use? The only thing they did wrong was not shout it from the hills. All this info was in the description of the iOS update.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigMcGuire Avatar
8 months ago
This just wasn't aged batteries. I tell my experience every time these threads come up:


My wife and I have the same phones, we buy them at the same time - the same phones, and use them for a few years then upgrade.

Our 6s+ phones started out identical... and less than 3 months into ownership, my wife's 6s+ would last significantly less than my 6s+ with near identical usage (walking in the park doing Ingress). It was about 4-5 months in that her phone started shutting off during high usage events (such as Ingress, Facebook, etc).

6 months into ownership her phone would restart handfuls of times on a mile walk in the park. All the while her battery life was 3x worse. CoconutBattery would show capacity at 40%, 60%, 80%, randomly depending on when I'd measure.

We took it to the Apple Store only for her phone to repeatedly fail the diagnostic test but the tech, frustrated, threw up his hands and said: "Sorry, I can't help you, her battery is green."

So we paid, out of pocket, for the $80 battery replacement which solved all her problems.

Granted, Apple refunded $55 of that... but ... there were CLEARLY a batch of bad batteries that went out and Apple tried to mitigate it by lowering CPU voltage to help reduce rebooting.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lkalliance Avatar
8 months ago

for fixing a problem of iPhones shutting down during use? The only thing they did wrong was not shout it from the hills. All this info was in the description of the iOS update.
Anecdotally, that's not the only thing it did wrong. SUPPOSEDLY many people would go into an Apple Store complaining of a slowing phone and were directed by Apple staff that the way to fix that was to get a new phone. Anecdotal evidence is problematic. Is that what was really recommended? Did the sales staff perhaps mention a battery replacement but the buyer shrugged it off? We don't know. Just that anecdotally, Apple not only didn't mention the feature but used its invisibility to turn people to the more expensive(/profitable) fix.

For what it's worth.


ADDED: It's also quite possible that the Apple Store clerks were also not aware of the feature (it was hidden, after all), and so directing users to consider a new phone would be the appropriate thing to suggest...which doesn't remove the issue at all, just kicks it further up the chain of command.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kiranmk2 Avatar
8 months ago
Apple definitely hid this - if it was accurately described in the update notes then tech sites would have featured it at the time and listed a battery replacement as a way to maintain speed. The fact that the tech sites were as surprised as anyone when the story broke tells a big story.

I don't think Apple did anything wrong by doing change, but they did do wrong by not telling people this was how iOS worked - as mentioned above, lots of people probably upgraded to new phones completely unaware that a $79 option would make their device speedy again.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
luvbug Avatar
8 months ago
More politicians looking for publicity, nothing more. That's all that seems to matter anymore.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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