Apple has settled a lawsuit filed by 34 US states and the District of Columbia which claimed that the company was throttling the performance of old iPhones.
The Washington Post reports that Apple agreed to pay R1.75 billion ($113 million) to settle the lawsuit, which revolved around Apple slowing down old iPhones to preserve their batteries.
These practices were first discovered back in 2017 and drew a lot of criticism as Apple was seen to be using underhanded tactics to push customers into buying newer iPhones.
“Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
According to a statement by Brnovich’s office, the Arizona Attorney General lead this case against Apple.
“I’m committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users,” he said.
As part of this settlement, Apple will be forced to explain how it handles battery health and other power-related measures to users.
This will need to be done both online and on its iPhones.
Apple’s original argument
After being called out on this practice in 2017, Apple claimed that its goal was to smooth out the performance of older batteries when using newer software, as these batteries struggled to support the peak current demands in certain conditions.
This could result in these iPhones shutting down if they surpassed certain proccing power peaks.
“Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple told TechCrunch in December 2017.
“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”