Apple Being Investigated By US Government For Slowing Down Phones

Alicia Guzman
February 2, 2018

The slowdown upset iPhone users, and now the investigators are looking into the possibility that Apple also misled investors about the performance of older smartphone devices. In a statement Wednesday, Apple confirmed receiving government inquiries, but did not specify from which agencies. But Apple didn't fully disclose what it was doing until December 2017.

Apple told Bloomberg that it has indeed "received questions from some government agencies", and that it is "responding to them".

In December, Apple issued an apology for slowing older models and said it would discount replacement batteries for some handsets. These features will be included in a developer release next month and a user release this Spring.

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Numerous people suing Apple say that they would not have bought newer iPhones if they knew that they could fix the issues with their older models by simply replacing the battery. But Apple requested an extension of the deadline, which was granted by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which Thune is the chairman, according to committee communications director Frederick Hill.

The news comes after the Silicon Valley giant's shares have been under pressure on worries about weaker-than-expected sales of iPhone X ahead of its earnings report due on Thursday.

"Even if Apple's actions were indeed only meant to avoid unexpected shutdowns in older phones. there should have been better transparency with respect to these practices", Thune wrote.

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On the one side, you have Apple, who claims the code uncovered by independent researchers was a fix implemented to end older iPhones spontaneously shutting down.

The news resulted in consumer backlash, many accusing the company of engaging in "planned obsolescence", among other things.

Apple further released an offer that would allow customers to replace their older phone batteries for $29 in 2018 - down from the typical $79 charge.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with ABC News in January that Apple did alert customers about the change but could have been more open. "Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that", the company said.

Other reports by Info About Network

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