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Apple pays $113 million settlement to end long-running ‘batterygate’ saga

Apple will pay a $113 million settlement to end the long-running ‘Batterygate’ saga, concerning the practice of slowing down older iPhones to protect ageing batteries.

The settlement will cover a case brought by 34 US states and the District of Colombia following, an investigation into the practice that first came to light in 2017.

Apple had been throttling older handsets without users knowledge until the issue was discovered by users. Apple then admitted doing so, saying it was necessary to protect iPhones from unexpected shutdowns when running newer versions of iOS.

At the time, Apple apologised and offered much more affordable iPhone battery replacements for an entire year. It also updated iOS to give users a choice over CPU throttling, while providing tools to monitor battery life.

Apple has always strenuously denied any notion that it may have been carrying out the practice in order to push iPhone users into updating to new handsets. And again, by agreeing to the settlement, Apple says it has admitted no wrongdoing.

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In a statement in court filings, the company said (via CNET) that “nothing contained herein may be taken as or construed to be an admission or concession of any violation of law, rule, or regulation, or of any other matter of fact or law, or of any liability or wrongdoing, all of which Apple expressly denies.”

“No part of this judgment, including its statements and commitments, shall constitute evidence of any liability, fault, or wrongdoing by Apple.”

However, that hasn’t stopped the plaintiffs grandstanding after the settlement with politically-motivated statements regarding bringing “Big Tech” to account.

“Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who helped lead the investigation, said in a statement. “I’m committed to holding these Goliath technology companies to account if they conceal the truth from their users.”

It’s the second time Apple has forked out over the issue. A civil lawsuit saw a settlement of $500 million, which will be paid out to affected consumers.

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