Apple will pay US$113 million to settle the latest case alleging the the trend-setting company duped consumers by deliberately slowing down older iPhones to help extend the life of their batteries.
The iPhone 12 models are the first 5G iPhones from the company, and also offer a new design language that fuses the full-screen iPhone 11 layout with the square edged sides that was last seen with the iPhone 5.
Thirty-three U.S. states claimed that Apple had done this to drive users into buying new devices. The settlement resolves complaints that the tech giant made misrepresentations about iPhone batteries and software updates that throttled processing performance to manage insufficient battery power, according to the state official.
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Apple had no immediate comment on the matter.
"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. Earlier this year, the company agreed to a $500 million class-action settlement to pay affected users.
The Apple settlement includes $24.6 million to its home state of California and $7.6 million to Texas - the two states with the most affected iPhone user bases.
Critics accused Apple of surreptitiously forcing users to buy phones sooner than necessary, and the outcry forced Apple to upgrade its software and offer steep discounts on battery replacements. The funds will cover attorneys' fees and will be used to fund future consumer protection investigators.
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In addition to the monetary payment, Apple will also be required to provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance and power management.
The settlement, Rodriguez said, "is not just about getting Apple to pay for its alleged duplicity, but just as importantly requires the company to abide by a variety of terms created to ensure greater transparency moving forward".
This batterygate lawsuit began in January 2018.
"My colleagues and I are trying to get the attention of these big tech companies, and you would hope a multimillion-dollar judgment with more than 30 states will get their attention", Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview.
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"I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies to account if they hide the truth from their users", he said.