US authorities are investigating whether Apple violated securities laws concerning its disclosures about a software update that slowed older iPhone models, according to Bloomberg.
The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have sought information from the tech giant, the financial news provider said Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The inquiry is in early stages, and it’s too soon to conclude if any enforcement will follow, the report said.
Investigators are said to be looking into public statements made by Apple amid concerns that the firm may have misled investors about the performance of older phones.
Apple admitted last month that it has used software updates to limit the performance of older iPhones, saying the action was taken to protect against problems caused by ageing batteries.
The company released a software update early last year in relation to the issue, but didn’t make it clear at that time that the software would slow down the devices.
In December, Apple apologized for not clearly communicating this information and vowed to release another update to mitigate the concern.
Earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook told ABC News that when Apple put out the software update that caused the performance issues for older iPhones “we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention. And maybe we should have been clearer.”
The slowdowns occur when an older iPhone’s battery reaches a certain, unspecified point of low health and can be fixed if a user replaces the battery.
As part of its public apology, Apple cut the prices of battery replacements in its stores to US$29, offering a discount of USS$50.
Apple plans to release an iPhone software update in the next few months with new features that let users monitor the health of their batteries and protect against slowdowns, the report noted.
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