Attorney General Nessel and others announce settlement with Apple over iPhone

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:10 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - According to the Michigan Department of Attorney General, Attorney General Dana Nessel and more than 30 other attorney generals announced a $113 million settlement with Apple Inc.

The settlement is due in part to Apple’s 2016 decision to control consumers’ iPhone speeds. Therefore, the coalition of attorney generals aim to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. 

Michigan will get more than $2.6 million as part of the settlement.

In addition to the million-dollar settlement, Apple also must provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance and power management. Apple must provide this important information in the following ways:

  • website
  • in update installation notes
  • in the iPhone user interface

Apple also recently settled class action litigation related to the same conduct. Under that settlement, Apple will pay out up to $500 million in consumer restitution. The deadline to join the class action lawsuit has passed and consumers must contact their own legal counsel to discuss their settlement claims or other legal options.

The attorneys general allege that Apple discovered battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, Apple concealed the issues from consumers. Apple’s concealment ultimately led to a software update in December 2016 that reduced iPhone performance in an effort to keep the phones from unexpectedly shutting down.

Additionally, the attorneys general allege that Apple’s concealment of the battery issues and decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones allowed the company to profit from selling more iPhones to consumers whose phones had been intentionally slowed by Apple.

“Apple knowingly misled consumers and instead of disclosing the issue or even allowing simple battery replacements, Apple instead chose to implement a ‘fix’ that only created further issues for users and allowed the company to reap financial rewards of that deceit,” Nessel said. “I am grateful this resolution seeks to hold Apple accountable for its actions and requires the company to take measures to avoid this misleading practice going forward.”

Participating in the settlement alongside Attorney General Nessel are the attorneys general of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District Of Columbia.

Click here for a copy of the complaint and here for a copy of the consent judgment submitted to the Ingham County Circuit Court for approval.

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