Apple might be in trouble with US government agencies for iPhone performance throttling
Financial analysts and market researchers may have turned their undivided attention to Apple’s upcoming earnings report, iPhone X shipment numbers over the holiday season, forecasts for the current quarter, and the next generation of iDevices. But government agencies and antitrust regulators in several countries aren’t done investigating the Cupertino-based tech giant for the whole iPhone performance throttling debacle.
Mere hours after a new Bloomberg report quoted “people familiar with the matter” claiming Apple was being probed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company’s PR department confirmed “some government agencies” still have questions Tim Cook needs to answer.
The US investigation was supposed to be private, according to Bloomberg’s inside sources, and it’s unclear exactly what “securities laws” Apple is suspected of having violated. The smartphone manufacturer’s “battery-saving” practices were undoubtedly deceitful, but it remains to be seen if they were also illegal in any shape or form.
The DOJ and SEC may want to go after Apple not necessarily for implementing the infamous throttling “feature”, but for failing to properly inform users what they were getting when updating the software of older iPhones. Investigators are reportedly also concerned about possible performance misrepresentation towards investors.
None of that is confirmed, as both agencies declined to comment, while Apple stuck to the script, reiterating how it “would never do anything to internationally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.” Of course, the company will respond to any and all questions from unnamed government agencies, although the same old “power management” explanation is likely to be offered again and again.