Attorney General Nessel, Coalition of AGs Announce $113M Settlement with Apple Over iPhone Throttling

Attorney General Nessel, Coalition of AGs Announce $113M Settlement with Apple Over iPhone Throttling

November 18, 2020 Lansing, MI (AMN) – Attorney General Dana Nessel, along with a bipartisan coalition of more than 30 other attorneys general, announced a $113 million settlement with Apple Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. Michigan will get more than $2.6 million as part of the settlement.

Based on the multistate investigation, the attorneys general allege that Apple discovered battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, however, Apple concealed the issues from consumers. Apple’s concealment ultimately led to a software update in December 2016 that reduced iPhone performance in an effort to keep the phones from unexpectedly shutting down.   

The attorneys general allege that Apple’s concealment of the battery issues and decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones allowed the company to profit from selling additional iPhones to consumers whose phones had been intentionally slowed by Apple. 

“Apple knowingly misled consumers and instead of disclosing the issue or even allowing simple battery replacements, Apple instead chose to implement a ‘fix’ that only created further issues for users and allowed the company to reap financial rewards of that deceit,” Nessel said. “I am grateful this resolution seeks to hold Apple accountable for its actions and requires the company to take measures to avoid this misleading practice going forward.” 

Under the settlement, Apple will pay Michigan more than $2.6 million. In addition to the monetary payment, Apple also must provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance and power management. Apple must provide this important information in various forms on its website, in update installation notes and in the iPhone user interface itself. Apple also recently settled class action litigation related to the same conduct, and under that settlement Apple will pay out up to $500 million in consumer restitution. The deadline to join the class action lawsuit has passed and consumers must contact their own legal counsel to discuss their settlement claims or other legal options.

Participating in the settlement alongside Attorney General Nessel are the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District Of Columbia.     

Click here for a copy of the complaint and here for a copy of the consent judgment submitted to the Ingham County Circuit Court for approval.