Apple to pay $113 million more, including nearly $25 million in California, to settle iPhone slowdown claims

An iPhone6 is seen in a file photo. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

An iPhone6 is seen in a file photo. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Apple will pay another $113 million, including $24.6 million in California, to settle the latest case alleging the company duped consumers by deliberately slowing down older iPhones to help extend the life of their batteries.

The payment announced Wednesday resolves a case brought by 34 states against Apple after the Cupertino-based company acknowledged a software update released in 2017 bogged down the performance of older iPhones.

In California, Apple reached a settlement with the Los Angeles, Alameda, San Diego, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county district attorney’s offices, as well as the state Attorney General’s Office. 

Each agency will receive $4.1 million, according to a news releasee from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. 

“We are pleased that Apple Inc. has agreed to comply with state consumer laws,” L.A. County DA Jackie Lacey said in this release. “We as prosecutors are here to protect consumers and ensure that all companies, large and small, provide transparency so that their customers are fully informed when they spend money on products.”

The $113 million settlement follows a previous settlement requiring Apple to pay up to $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought in California. 

Apple apologized to consumers in December 2017, but defended its actions as a way to protect older iPhones. Critics contended the company did it to help spur sales of newer models.

The company admitted that the iOS 10.2.1 update contained power management features to prevent unexpected shutdowns in some of its older smartphones, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and first generation iPhone SE, according to prosecutors.

The feature — which was also in the iOS 11.2 update — resulted in slower performance for some users, who experienced a range of issues such as longer launch time in apps, backlight dimming and lower speaker volume.

“Prosecutors alleged that Apple Inc.’s failure to disclose these features at the time iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2 were released constituted an unlawful business practice and violated California’s false advertising statute,” the release stated. “Apple Inc. did not admit that it had violated any laws, but the company cooperated with the investigation.” 

As part of the settlement, Apple will also maintain webpages that are easily accessible to provide clear information about lithium-ion batteries and performance management. It will include information on how users can maximize battery health, according to the DA’s office. 

In addition, the company also must notify consumers of any performance management impacts in future iOS updates. 

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