Jan 31, 2018

Apple confirms U.S. government inquiries over iPhone battery issue

Ina Fried, author of Login

Apple on Monday said it has responded to inquires from U.S. agencies over the handling over older iPhone batteries and how it communicated changes to customers. Bloomberg reported earlier Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission had launched inquires into the matter.

Be Smart: While this issue sometimes gets reported under headlines like "Apple slowing down older iPhones," that's really not what's going on. Apple only slows down phones in a specific condition: when an older battery can’t deliver the power required to run faster.

"We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them," Apple said in a statement to Axios. It didn't specify the specific agencies.

Separately, Axios reported on Tuesday that Apple is delaying some features planned for this year's iPhone software update in order to focus on quality and reliability issues.

Here's Apple's full statement:

About a year ago, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on certain iPhones with older batteries. We know that iPhones have become an important part of the daily lives of our customers and our intention was to improve the customer experience.  

We sought to further improve the customer experience in December by announcing a significant discount on replacement batteries for certain iPhones. We also announced that we began developing a new iOS feature to show battery health and which would recommend when the user should consider replacing their battery. These actions were taken to further assist our customers and help extend the life of their iPhones. In addition, users will be able to see if the power management feature is being used to prevent unexpected shutdowns, and turn if off if they so choose. These features will be included in a developer release next month and a user release this Spring. 


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. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.


We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.

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