Attorney General Rutledge Announces $113 Million Settlement with Apple Over iPhone Throttling
November 18, 2020
Says, ‘Arkansans will not be taken advantage of by any businesses attempting to deceive them’
LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today a $113 million settlement with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to throttle, or slow down, consumers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. General Rutledge is leading this lawsuit along with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, and a coalition of 30 attorneys general across the United States.
“Mobile phones have become an essential part of our daily lives,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We rely on companies like Apple to provide the service it promised and that consumers have paid for. Arkansans will not be taken advantage of by any businesses attempting to deceive them and I will not hesitate to stand up to companies taking advantage of hard working Arkansans, no matter how large.”
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 slowed or throttled iPhone performance in an effort to keep the phones from unexpectedly shutting down. Apple failed to inform consumers about the reduced performance of the phones, leaving many consumers to believe that they needed to upgrade to a new iPhone, when a battery replacement would have solved the performance problem.
The attorneys general allege that Apple’s concealment of the battery issues and decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones then led to Apple profiting from selling new iPhones to consumers whose old iPhones had slowed down.
Under the settlement, Apple will pay the state of Arkansas $4,295,115.09, designated to the Consumer Education & Enforcement Fund for the protection of consumers. 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 entered into a proposed settlement of class action litigation related to the same conduct, and under that proposed settlement Apple will pay out up to $500 million in consumer restitution.
Consumers inquiring about their potential eligibility for iPhone battery replacements can contact Apple Support at https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/service/battery-power. Consumers desiring to check the status of the class action litigation and eligibility for any restitution payments can contact the Apple litigation claims administrator at https://www.smartphoneperformancesettlement.com/.