Last month, omnipotent tech corporation Apple admitted that it had indeed been slowing down performance in older iPhones, blaming certain demands on lithium-ion batteries “which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.”
The company later retracted this, stating: “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.”
However, this particular scandal has now prompted a full-blown federal investigation, Bloomberg reports, as the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission begin an inquiry into whether Apple violated any securities laws relating to financial disclosures.
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Credit: PA
While it’s true that the slowdown has angered consumers, US investigators are more concerned that the company could have misled investors about the performance of older phones.
In a statement to Bloomberg on Tuesday, Apple confirmed it had been contacted by government officials.
“We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them,” an Apple spokeswoman said.
In December, the US tech company also announced a $50 (£37) reduction in the price of iPhone battery replacements, which it cut down from $79 (£56) to $29 (£20).
The statement posted on Apple’s website in December reads: “We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down.
“We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.
“First and foremost, 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.
“Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”
So essentially, the slowing down of batteries isn’t to push customers into thinking that they need new handsets, but rather to smooth out issues concerning older batteries.
It makes sense but it would’ve been nice to get a bit of a warning.
Featured Image Credit: PA