Following yesterday’s report on IIC, Apple has confirmed that the U.S. Justice Department has also begun investigating the Cupertino company for its deliberate slowing-down of older iPhone models when the battery reaches a certain threshold of usage.
According to a new report from the Washington Post, the inquiry is in its early stages. The government has reportedly requested information from Apple and wants to determine if it misled investors about the performance of older iPhones by not telling them.
Apple did not say what the agencies are, however, and neither the DOJ nor the SEC have confirmed that they’re investigating Apple.
“We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told the Washington Post in a statement. She also reiterated Apple’s previous remarks that the software update that slows down iPhones with old batteries isn’t meant to convince buyers to upgrade to a new iPhone model.
“As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” said Muller.
Apple says the reason for the software feature is to prevent unexpected iPhone shutdowns, not to encourage users to update to a newer iPhone. A phone with the feature turned on can take longer to launch apps and can display lower frame rates, but it’s also less likely to randomly reboot.
Since then, Apple apologized to consumers, launched a year-long battery replacement program. More recently, Apple announced that an upcoming iOS 11 update will let users monitor the health of their batteries and toggle performance.
At the same time, many iPhone users hit back in courts, filing dozens of class action suits against Apple. Other governmental agencies and consumer groups in various international markets, including Brazil, China, France, Italy, and South Korea, are looking for answers from Apple as well.