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Apple To Pay $113 Million In Penalty To Settle US Investigation Of 'batterygate' Scandal

Dubbed as the iPhone’s “batterygate” scandal, the event involved negative press for the tech giant Apple that allegedly “betrayed its customers”.

Apple

Apple is expected to pay $113 million to settle a  multi-state investigation in at least 34 states and the District of Columbia for slowing the performance of the old iPhones in order to preserve its battery. Dubbed as the iPhone’s “batterygate” scandal, the event involved negative press for the tech giant that allegedly “betrayed its customers”. According to the lawsuits, iOS was limiting the processing power of the phones that throttled its operation and battery health. 

Led by the states of Arizona, Arkansas, and Indiana, the probe accused Apple of declining the performance of iOS 10 and iOS 11, according to a release. Apple justified its actions, saying, that the lithium-ion batteries "become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time.” Further, it said that the phones’ processor automatically shut down when more battery power was requested than could be supplied by the aging processor. While Apple issued a formal apology on December 28, 2017, offering a detailed explanation, and cut down the prices of the iPhone battery-replacement services from $79 to $29, a probe went underway. 

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Practice 'unfair and deceptive'

On November 18, nearly 3 quarter of the states sought financial penalty and legal commitment from Apple for more transparency towards its customers moving forward. Calling the company’s practices as “unfair and deceptive”, the Arizona complaint accused Apple of its approach that left the customers confused and stranded. It stated that the iPhone users were compelled to purchase the newer-model of phones from Apple as the only probable solution to the issue. This, in turn, boosted Apple’s sales by millions per year.

According to the outcome of the probe, Apple not only has to pay a penalty but will also have to clarify the health and power management processes on its devices to the customers. Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products, Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement, questioning Apple’s “we know what's best for our customers" mindset. 

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