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Apple to pay $113 million in latest iPhone 'Batterygate' settlement

The deal puts the case to rest with 34 states.

Published onNovember 18, 2020

  • Apple will settle another “Batterygate” lawsuit, this time paying $113 million.
  • The 34-state agreement follows a $500 million settlement earlier in 2020.
  • Whether or not you get money is another matter.

Apple will soon make another payout over the iPhone “Batterygate” uproar. As the Washington Post (via The Verge) reports, Apple has agreed to a settlement that will see it pay 34 states a total of $113 million over its decision to quietly throttle the processor in the iPhone 6S and other models to prevent unexpected battery-related shutdowns.

The Batterygate deal follows an Apple settlement worth up to $500 million from earlier in 2020. The agreement doesn’t require that Apple admits any wrongdoing, but the Arizona Attorney General’s office said the company would have to offer “truthful” iPhone battery health, performance, and power management info.

Read more: Thank the iPhone 11 for improving battery life on small flagships

This doesn’t change the status quo in many respects. Apple confirmed it was throttling the devices like the iPhone 6S in December 2017, and temporarily discounted battery replacements to $29 to help those affected. It released an update in early 2018 that not only illustrated battery health, but gave users the choice to disable the throttling if they were willing to risk shutdowns.

As before, the outrage in Batterygate didn’t center so much on the throttling itself as it did Apple’s lack of disclosure. While Apple said it was throttling the battery on models like the iPhone 6S to extend the hardware’s useful lifespan, it didn’t properly notify customers — people were concerned Apple might have been slowing down iPhones to prompt early upgrades. Whatever the true motivations, some customers appear to have bought new handsets when a battery purchase was enough.

Don’t expect to receive money soon. Apple only opened claims for the first iPhone Batterygate settlement in July, and a hearing on December 4th could revise that settlement if the court deems it unfair. The states are more likely to get payouts first, and any compensation for users should come later. Still, this could serve as another lesson for Apple and other phone makers that want to throttle devices — they’ll want to be as transparent as possible.

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