U.S. investigates Apple over slow iPhones

Tim Cook

Reuters

The government has so far made no exceptions for Apple, but a rule easing foreign investment norms earlier this month makes it easier for the Cupertino, California-based company to open its flagship stores in India, analysts say.

While consumers and even foreign governments - French authorities launched an investigation of their own in early January - have cried foul over the company's "planned obsolescence", the United States government probe will focus on whether Apple misled investors about the performance of older phones.

This news organization requested comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

"We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them". The software update turned down an iPhone's processor performance when its battery would begin to malfunction. The SEC declined to comment.

In December previous year Apple had clarified that iPhone software could slow down some phones with battery problems. Today, Apple admitted that it has been questioned by the US government in reference to its decision to throttle the CPU on several iPhone units. The fact it had not told them about the battery throttling just meant that many users would have thought their phones were on their way out and just needed replacing.

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Apple is cooperating with USA government inquiries into its secret slowdown of older iPhones, further complicating its efforts to move past an issue that irked customers whose devices bogged down. We are aware that iPhones have become an increasingly important part of their everyday lives of our customers and we meant to enhance the customer experience.

According to Apple, the software feature to view battery health and turn off any performance restrictions will be available through its developer beta program in February, and as a public update in this Spring.

We sought to further enhance the customer experience in December by announcing a significant reduction on replacement batteries for specific iPhones.

In its latest statement, Apple reiterated its belief that it was acting in the best interest of its customers by extending the lives of their iPhones.

Apple is under scrutiny over iPhone slowdowns it said prevented unexpected shutdowns. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Apple added in a statement obtained by CNBC that it wants to ensure "iPhones last as long as possible".

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