Apple to Lose Whopping $113 Million Over Batterygate Scandal

Over 34 states in the United States claimed that Apple has been doing a shady business trick by slowing down older iPhone models to trick users into buying new devices. The tech giant has agreed to pay $113 million to settle the lawsuit. 

The 34 states, including California and Arizona, claimed that Apple was not transparent about its devices' battery lives. This lawsuit is different from that of the previously-agreed $500 million last March. 

"Big tech companies must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and product," Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a press release, as reported by CNN.

The widespread blowback gathered both Republican and Democrat general attorneys to join the settlement. Apple is yet to give its comment. 

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What is Batterygate?

Batterygate scandal started way back in 2017 when the tech giant launched a software update for older iPhone models, including 6, 7, and SE. It was quick for customers to realize that the update made their phones even slower. 

Apple acknowledged the sleazy practice and confirmed that they did slow down the older phones and apologized for such a manner. To make up for it, Apple offered a slashed price to update the batteries from the original price of $79 to only $29.

However, Apple also claimed that they designed the updates to "smooth out" peak power demands and prevent the phones from surprise shutdowns. 

"The inevitable outcome of it will be an inherent slowdown of the average response times by the system," Doron Myersdorf, CEO of instant-charging battery startup StoreDot, told CNN

Despite the mea culpa, Apple faced a hefty legal problem. 

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Lawsuit After Lawsuit

However, as mentioned above, this is a different lawsuit than the $500 million agreed by Apple to pay out iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 users in the U.S. 

Julie Steinberg of Bloomberg Law initially reported the settlement is a joint complaint between the same 66 class-action lawsuits between 2017 and 2018.

Users of iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 will be eligible for $25 payouts. In detail, owners of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE, who runs iOS 10.2.1 or later (for iPhone 6 models) and iOS 11,2 or later (for iPhone 7 models), will receive $25 for each iPhone owned

Apple agreed to pay out $310 million at minimum, but it could double up until $500 million. 

In France, the authority announced a $25 million fine for the throttling controversy, calling it 'a misleading commercial practice by omission'. France's Directorate-General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF) noted Apple's intentional slowing down of the older models.  

As seen on The Verge, the Italian government also rolled out a $5 million penalty against both Apple and Samsung for the same issue in two separate investigations. 

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