AG Eric Schmitt, Coalition of Attorneys General Announce $113 Million Settlement with Apple Over iPhone Throttling

Nov 18, 2020, 12:13 PM by AG Schmitt
Attorney General Eric Schmitt, along with a coalition of over 30 other attorneys general announced a $113 million settlement with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. The multistate investigation was led by the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, and Indiana, and supported by an executive committee including the attorneys general of Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

“Working with other state attorneys general to protect consumers is a crucial duty of my office and my Consumer Protection section works on these large investigations regularly. This settlement is a great result, and I’m pleased that Apple will implement policy changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said Attorney General Schmitt. 

Based on the multistate investigation, the attorneys general allege that Apple discovered that battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, however, 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. The attorneys general allege that Apple’s concealment of the battery issues and decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones led to Apple profiting from selling additional iPhones to consumers whose phone performance Apple had slowed.

Under the settlement, Apple will pay the State of Missouri $3,412,376.17. In addition to the monetary payment, Apple also must provide disclosures of truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance, and power management. 

Apple must provide this information in various forms on its website, in update installation notes, and in the iPhone user interface itself. Apple recently also entered into a proposed settlement of class action litigation related to the same conduct, and under that proposed settlement Apple will pay out up to $500 million in consumer restitution.