The agencies are investigating whether Apple violated securities laws concerning its disclosures about a software update that slowed down certain iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
The government has requested information from the company, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the probe is private. The inquiry is in early stages, they cautioned, and it’s too soon to conclude any enforcement will follow. Investigators are looking into public statements made by Apple on the situation, they added.
Investigators are reportedly concerned that Apple misled investors about the performance of its older phones.
In December, Apple announced it would be dropping the price of battery replacements from $79 to $29 after it was discovered that iPhones were being secretly slowed down as their batteries aged. Apple touts the slowdown as a feature but it was put in place to avoid unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6s; something that doesn't appear to have commonly occurred with earlier generation devices. Rival smartphone manufacturers have since announced that they do not throttle their devices casting doubt on Apple's claim that this is necessary due to the nature of lithium-ion batteries. Last week, Apple announced that the upcoming iOS 11.3 software update will show battery health, recommend if a battery needs to be serviced, and allow users to disable throttling. Unfortunately, turning off throttling will not solve the unexpected shutdown problem for users with an iPhone 6/6s.
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