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Apple's iPhone Slowdown Kerfuffle Raises Flags at DOJ, SEC

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Jan 30, 2018, 1:54 PM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Jan 30, 2018, 2:56 PM

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have launched investigations into Apple's treatment of older iPhones, according to a report. Apple admitted in December that it uses software to reduce the performance of select iPhones in order to compensate for aging lithium-ion batteries. iPhone owners have long complained that their devices slow down over time. Apple contends that it limits performance in order to prevent older iPhones from randomly shutting down as their batteries deliver uneven power under duress. At issue is how Apple communicated this behavior to its users. The company did not disclose that it slowed down older iPhones until last month, despite engaging in the behavior for years. The government agencies likely believe Apple should have been more upfront about the practice. Apple said it will allow those who own older iPhones to score replacement batteries at lower costs ($29 instead of $79). Replacing the battery mitigates the performance issue. Apple did not immediately comment on word of the government agencies' investigations.

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