Apple has reached a $113 million settlement agreement with 34 states and Washington, D.C., over allegations that the company misled consumers about iPhone software updates that purposely slowed iPhones to extend battery life, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday.
They had argued that Apple "fully understood" that by concealing the issues, it could spend a year profiting off of people who thought they needed to buy a new iPhone. Apple at the time did admit that the updates indeed slowed down the phones to prevent their ageing batteries from causing the devices to randomly shut down.
Apple pushed out software "fixes" that intentionally throttled performance of the iPhone Series 6, 7 and SE (Special Edition) devices "in an effort to quietly resolve the UPO issues", a complaint filed in Trenton charged.
The payout is the latest Apple has made in regard to the matter - the company paid $US500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in May.
In 2017, Apple admitted that updates to iOS were throttling older iPhone models but framed it as a misunderstanding.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the settlement.
However, Apple also apologised for not communicating to users properly and offered affected customers cut-price iPhone battery replacements. Arizona will receive $5 million from the proposed settlement, which will be used to fund consumer protection activities, and reimbursing the attorney fees accrued during the investigation.
"Big Tech must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products", Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement.
"In addition to the monetary payment, Apple also must provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance, and power management", Brnovich's office added.
"Companies can not be disingenuous and hide things", he added.
The settlement, Rodriguez said, "is not just about getting Apple to pay for its alleged duplicity, but just as importantly requires the company to abide by a variety of terms created to ensure greater transparency moving forward".
In the court documents, the iPhone maker said it agreed to the payout "solely for the purposes of settlement", without any admission of wrongdoing.