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Apple's iPhone slowdown scandal is now a full-blown federal investigation, report says

It only took federal investigators five weeks to launch an official probe after Apple admitted to slowing down the performance of older iPhone models.

by Noah Kulwin
Jan 30 2018, 9:21pm

It only took federal investigators five weeks to launch an official probe after Apple admitted to slowing down the performance of older iPhone models.

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have begun an inquiry into whether Apple violated any securities laws relating to financial disclosures when the tech company slowed down customers’ phones to extend battery life, according to sources that spoke with Bloomberg. After commenters on Reddit first pieced together what Apple was up to, the company apologized for the practice on December 28 and said that it would be offering $29 replacement batteries.

Apple’s replacement battery offer, which stands for devices sold going back to 2014, drew lines of customers at Apple stores across the country earlier this month. Many owners have already been able to get their hands on a new battery. But delays have affected a variety of models, and iPhone 6 Plus owners reportedly won’t be able to get their hands on a new battery until March.

News of the SEC and DOJ investigation arrived the day before Apple’s scheduled February 1 quarterly earnings call. Analysts anticipate bad news, as Apple has reportedly pared down its orders from suppliers for more iPhone X parts because of weak demand for the flagship smartphone released last November.

A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and representatives for the SEC and DOJ both declined to comment.