Apple was hit with numerous lawsuits in 2018 over its throttling of iPhones with worn out batteries. In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) the Cupertino firm says it has set aside funds to resolve those cases if needed.
In December of 2017 and January of 2018, Apple faced dozens of lawsuits after it confirmed that it throttled older iPhones suffering from battery wear. In general, the lawsuits made allegations of planned obsolescence and said Apple should have given users the option to choose between performance and potential reliability issues – which it eventually did.
Business Insider reports Apple mentions those lawsuits in its SEC filing, saying it has “accrued its best estimate for the ultimate resolution” of the outstanding lawsuits related to iPhone throttling. In other words, it has a fund ready to draw from, depending on the cases’ outcome.
Apple stands by its belief that the iPhones in question “were not defective,” and that the “throttling” feature was designed to improve the customer experience:
Various civil litigation matters have been filed in state and federal courts in the U.S. and in various international jurisdictions alleging violation of consumer protection laws, fraud, computer intrusion and other causes of action related to the Company’s performance management feature used in its iPhone operating systems, introduced to certain iPhones in iOS updates 10.2.1 and 11.2. The claims seek monetary damages and other non-monetary relief.
The Company believes that its iPhones were not defective, that the performance management feature introduced with iOS updates 10.2.1 and 11.2 was intended to, and did, improve customers’ user experience, and that the Company did not make any misleading statements or fail to disclose any material information. The Company has accrued its best estimate for the ultimate resolution of these matters.”
In an effort to resolve the controversy, Apple began replacing worn iPhone batteries for $29, doing so until the end of 2018.
The Apple 10-Q filing with the SEC can be found here.