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Apple agrees to pay $113 million to settle multi-state investigation into iPhone ‘batterygate’

Apple is set to pay $113 million to settle a multi-state investigation into the iPhone’s “batterygate” controversy. As The Washington Post reports, 34 states and the District of Columbia had been investigating Apple’s decision to throttle older iPhones as their battery health declined.

The multi-state investigation was led by Arizona, Arkansas, and Indiana, with the probe accusing Apple of providing “misleading information” about iOS updates.

Apple’s approach ultimately left many users feeling as if the “only way to get improved performance was to purchase a newer-model iPhone from Apple,” the Arizona complaint contends. As a result, the company relied on “unfair and deceptive acts and practices” to boost its sales “potentially by millions of devices per year,” according to Arizona’s attorney general.

Today’s report says that the states have “secured a financial penalty and legal commitment” from Apple in response to the batterygate probe. Apple will pay $113 million to settle the investigation. Apple will also be required to clarify its practices around battery health and power management.

“Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement. “I’m committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users.”

This settlement is different than the $500 million that Apple had already agreed to pay directly to affected iPhone users to settle a class-action lawsuit in the United States. Through that lawsuit, Apple will pay out up to $500 million to affected iPhone owners, equivalent to $25 per impacted iPhone.

On the iPhone, Apple now allows users to manage their Battery Health and capacity, and disable performance throttling caused by reduced battery capacity. iOS 13 also quietly added a new Optimized Battery Charging feature, which aims to extend the lifespan of your iPhone’s battery to reduce how often the battery stays at 100% charge. Apple has also added similar features to macOS, watchOS, and even AirPods.

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