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Apple to Pay $113 Million to Settle Investigation Over Slowed IPhone Batteries

California-based Apple settled an investigation by nearly three dozen states Wednesday, agreeing to pay $113 million in a global settlement to rectify its practice of slowing down older model iPhones to preserve the devices’ aging batteries.

(CN) — California-based Apple settled an investigation by nearly three dozen states Wednesday, agreeing to pay $113 million in a global settlement to rectify its practice of slowing down older model iPhones to preserve the devices’ aging batteries.

The settlement resolves claims Apple failed to disclose to iPhone users the software it instructed consumers to download in December 2016 intentionally slowed down the performance of older phones through a process called “throttling.”

Apple used “throttling” to prevent the automatic shutdown of phones with aging batteries but did not tell its customers it purposefully reduced their devices’ system performance when advising iPhone users to perform system updates.

The multi-state investigation was led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

California received $24.6 million from the settlement while 33 other states recovered $88.4 million.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement: “This type of behavior hurts the pockets of consumers and limits their ability to make informed purchases. Today’s settlement ensures consumers will have access to the information they need to make a well-informed decision when purchasing and using Apple products.”

The California complaint filed by Becerra in Alameda Superior Court alleges Apple equipped its iPhone 6 and 7 model phones with batteries particularly susceptible to performance loss which caused unexpected shutdowns when the batteries could not provide sufficient voltage to support phone processing performance.

Apple attempted to mitigate shutdowns through software updates which throttled the phones’ processing performance. The company is accused of misrepresenting the effects of the software updates by claiming they would improve power management rather than alerting consumers the updates reduced performance, according to the complaint.

In addition to the $113 million settlement, Apple will maintain a webpage that provides clear information to consumers about how it manages battery performance issues. It will also provide clear and visible notices to consumers when an iOS update affects iPhone processing performance, according to the settlement agreement.

Additionally, information will be provided in the iPhone settings menu about consumers’ battery performance and maximum capacity, as well as when a battery has experienced performance degradation requiring servicing.

Apple also recently settled a $500 million consumer class action related to the battery issues, which was also challenged by investors in a separate complaint.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment. The company did not admit to any wrongdoing, instead stating in the settlement that it agreed to it to "avoid significant expense, inconvenience, and uncertainty."

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