The Florida Attorney General’s Office announced a $113 million agreement with Apple, Inc. to settle allegations that the tech giant broke consumer protection laws after the company decided to quietly throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds in 2016.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody helped lead the effort in the Sunshine State, with an additional 30 attorneys general taking part in the multistate investigation.
According to a press release on Wednesday, Apple was accused of throttling their customers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected battery shutdowns in some older phones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, Apple updated software that reduced iPhone performance in an effort to keep the phones from unexpectedly shutting down.
The group of attorneys general allege that Apple’s decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones led to Apple profiting from selling additional iPhones to consumers whose phone performance Apple had slowed.
Apple, however, denied the allegations — a move that won’t allow a court to decide whether there was any actual wrongdoing.
“Countless Floridians depend on their iPhones daily for necessary professional and personal communication and pay significant fees for this service,” Moody said. It is essential that a widespread and trusted service provider such as Apple provide accurate and reliable information about performance issues and viable options if service is disrupted. I am proud of this action that will require Apple to be more transparent to consumers and hold them accountable for their actions that negatively impacted many Floridians.”
I am proud to announce this action that holds Apple accountable for the failure to disclose battery issues that negatively impacted the performance of many consumers’ iPhones.https://t.co/tvzH8pN6lH
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) November 18, 2020
Under the agreement, Apple will pay the Florida Attorney General’s Office $5,088,588. In addition to the monetary payment, Apple must be more transparent about iPhone battery health, performance and power management. The tech company will provide support through a webpage that will offer tips on installation notes. The information will also be available through the iPhone user interface.
Today’s agreement marks the company’s second settlement after Apple resolved a class-action lawsuit earlier this year. The “batterygate” controversy resulted in Apple agreeing to pay up to $500 million to affected iPhone owners, equivalent to $25 per impacted phone.
Moody says today’s settlement is still pending judicial approval.