Apple Paying $113 Million to Settle U.S. iPhone Throttling Investigation

Earlier this year, several states launched an investigation into Apple's iPhone "throttling" practices, aiming to determine whether Apple's slowing of older iPhones through power management "violated deceptive trade practice laws."

iphone 6s throttle 113 million feature
The investigation has now concluded, and Apple has opted to pay $113 million to settle the matter, reports The Washington Post. Apple has also agreed to be more transparent about similar changes to iOS devices in the future, providing more detail about battery health and power management.

In a statement, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that he's committed to preventing tech companies from manipulating consumers.

"Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products. I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users."

The investigation involved 34 states and the District of Columbia, and it concerned the 2017 controversy that Apple was embroiled in after quietly adding a power management feature to iPhones in iOS 10.2.1.

Apple's feature was meant to eliminate unexpected shutdowns that older iPhones were experiencing due to exhausted batteries, but it did so through throttling the maximum performance of devices with chemically aged batteries.

Apple did not disclose the throttling when releasing the updates, and customers were outraged when it was discovered that ‌iPhone‌ performance was being downgraded. While Apple said that it implemented the feature to make sure iPhones lasted as long as possible even as the battery began to fail, customers and regulators saw it as evidence of planned obsolescence.

After the throttling was discovered, Apple apologized and launched a battery replacement program that saw the company offering batteries for older devices for $29. Replacing a failing battery successfully fixes the problem that leads to shutdowns.

Apple offered lower-cost batteries for a year, and also added new battery management features to iOS that encourage customers to replace their battery when needed and allow throttling to be shut off. Apple has also already shelled out $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit over the issue.

Top Rated Comments

unsynaps Avatar
12 months ago
My two cents...

...this entire lawsuit is dumb and should not have even happeend.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G5isAlive Avatar
12 months ago

Slap on the wrist.

$113 million fine when Apple had $57.4 billion in net income for fiscal year 2020. ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/10/29/apple-4q-2020-results/')

That's 0.197% of what they made last fiscal year.
Slap on the wrist? its the complainers that should be slapped. Apple did the right thing, perhaps they messaged it poorly, but in the end they were working to help older phones retain their ability to make emergency phone calls when power was low. And people who do not understand the technical facts just spread more falsehoods. Just goes to show, no good deed goes unpunished. Yep, I know, my position is unpopular. Oh well.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BuffaloTF Avatar
12 months ago
Frivolous. If they only messaged it better out of the gate, this would have been viewed as a good thing.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
williamyx Avatar
12 months ago
The posturing from the Arizona state AG about going against the goliath of big tech is a tad disgusting.

Save your stones for the real issues.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
12 months ago

"Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products. I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users."
This is a really bad precedent. There is no way to tell customers everything that is changing, I'd be shocked if anyone in Apple could dictate a list of everything that's changing, so something will always be left off that list and someone will always feel aggrieved.

This wasn't manipulation of customers, this is customers not understanding technology and nurturing their paranoid delusions about how the world is out to get them.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
12 months ago
The article forgot to mention that Apple went one step further and is optimizing battery charging in iOS so that it doesn't stay at 100% for too long. It learns when you usually begin using your iPhone for the day and charges the last 5-10% or so right before you need it. This should help maximize battery lifespan as well.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

14

Apple Stops Signing iOS 14.5 Following Bug Fix iOS 14.5.1 Release

Monday May 10, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
Following the release of iOS 14.5.1 last week, Apple has stopped signing iOS 14.5, the previously available version of iOS 14 that was released in late April. With iOS 14.5 no longer being signed, it is not possible to downgrade to iOS 14.5 if you've already installed iOS 14.5.1. Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

iPhone 13 to Finally Feature Bigger Batteries

Wednesday March 10, 2021 2:16 am PST by
Apple appears to be improving the iPhone's battery life with the iPhone 13 lineup, using a number of design changes, bigger batteries, and efficiency improvements. In a recent investor note seen by MacRumors, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained that all four of the iPhone 13 models will feature larger batteries with higher capacities:The new 2H21 iPhone models feature a larger battery ...
Podcasts Bugged Feature

Apple Investigating 'Problem' With Podcasts App That Began April 29 [Now Resolved]

Monday May 3, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
Apple's Podcasts platform is experiencing an "outage" for some users, according to the company's system status page. "Users are experiencing a problem with this service," wrote Apple. "We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available." Apple says the undisclosed problem began on April 29. Only some users are affected by the outage, according to Apple. ...
app store safe secure

Study Finds Up to 2% of Top 1,000 Paid Apps on App Store Were Scams

Monday June 7, 2021 6:33 am PDT by
Apple has used its app review process as a bulwark in recent legal assaults on its App Store policy, and put particular emphasis on the security benefits for iOS users when buying apps. However, an investigation has found that almost 2% of the top 1,000 highest grossing apps on a given day were some sort of scam. According to The Washington Post, which conducted the investigation, scam apps...
iphone 6s battery

Consumer Group Sues Apple in Belgium and Spain Over iPhone Throttling

Wednesday December 2, 2020 4:06 am PST by
An EU consumer advocacy group has filed class-action lawsuits against Apple in both Belgium and Spain for "unfair and misleading commercial practices" related to the iPhone performance management system it introduced in iOS 10.2.1 without informing customers. Brought by Euroconsumers, which describes itself as the "world's leading consumer cluster organization," the suits allege that the...
battery health recalibration

iOS 14.5 Will Recalibrate iPhone 11 Batteries to Fix Battery Health Bug

Wednesday March 31, 2021 10:39 am PDT by
Apple's iOS 14.5 beta that's currently in testing introduces a new process for recalibrating the battery health reporting on the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. As outlined in a support document, Apple says that the update will recalibrate the maximum battery capacity and peak performance capacity on the iPhone 11 models to address inaccurate estimates of battery health reporting that...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
maxresdefault

Video: Make Your iPhone Last Longer With These Battery Preserving Tips

Monday May 10, 2021 1:23 pm PDT by
Maximizing battery life is something that many iPhone users deal with on a regular basis as we all want our iPhones to last as long as possible. Sometimes there are bugs in iOS that make the battery drain faster, and sometimes we just need to eke out as much as possible on a long day out and about. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, MacRumo...
f1618938547

AirTags Feature IP67 Water Resistance, User Replaceable Battery That Lasts a Year

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:52 am PDT by
At its jam-packed "Spring Loaded" event today, Apple finally announced its long-rumored item tracker, called AirTags. AirTags allow users to keep track of items such as their keys, bags, and more using the Find My network, and ultra-wideband technology. AirTags are small in design, and according to Apple, this small design means that it is water-resistant per the IP67 industry rating. An...
iphone 6s battery

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

Wednesday July 29, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
Apple is facing another probe on its iPhone "throttling" practices, this time from Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich, reports Reuters. 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...