|Photo by: designedbyjess via Pixabay|
The US Dept of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission has started a probe to determine if Apple violated securities laws when it issued a software patch that slowed the performance of iPhones with old batteries, reports Marguerite Reardon of c|net.
Previously, Apple users have complained that their iPhones seem to slow down when new models are released. They suspect Apple is doing this to force them to upgrade to the new models.
Affected by the slowdowns are iPhone 7 and earlier models but not the iPhone X and 8.
In 2016, Apple rolled out software that makes iPhones with aging batteries go slower. Older batteries do not store as much charge as newer ones and can have worse problems when the charge is low or the temperature goes very low.
Aging batteries could also unexpectedly shut down phones, as what happened to the iPhone 6 and 6S.
The software rolled out by Apple incorporated better power management capabilities but the company admitted that it could slow down iPhones such as when the weather gets very cold, when the battery charge is low or the batteries are very old.
Apple plans to release a new software, the iOS 11.3, that will allow users to monitor the health of their batteries and guard against slowdowns.
It is also facing other issues, such as processor vulnerabilities that have also affected other technology companies and a bug that allows intruders to logon to Mac computers without using a password.
It is also delaying new iPhone and Mac software upgrades to focus on improving the quality of its products.
The company did not comment on the federal investigation but its shares fell to US$ 165 amid reports that sales of iPhone X have been slower than expected.