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Apple quizzed by China’s consumer watchdog over iPhone 6 shutdown ‘fault’

Complaints that mobiles close down without warning prompts China Consumers Association to question US giant over the matter

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 9:44pm

The China Consumers Association, the government-backed consumer rights watchdog, has questioned Apple over complaints that its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models suddenly shut down without warning.

Apple said on Wednesday that it was aware of a very small number of iPhone 6s users who had reported that their iPhones unexpectedly turned off.

“We’re working to get more information from these customers, and anyone with questions can contact AppleCare,” the company said.

Apple iPhone sales fall as revenue from Greater China sinks almost 30 per cent

“We’re also working with government agencies to help customers ... with concerns.”

The association said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that it had received a “relatively large” number of complaints about the issue, without specifying how many.

The problem occurred when the phones had about 50 to 60 per cent of their battery charged, or after a operating upgrade, or if the phone was at a low or “moderate” temperature, the association said.

The watchdog said it would keep pursuing the matter to safeguard consumers’ rights.

The complaints have been on internet chat rooms and bulletin boards for some time, but it is the first time a state affiliated agency has stepped in.

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The association asked Apple to clarify the reasons for the shutdowns, if there were any problems with the phones’ battery and what it had done to handle complaints about the issue. It also wanted the company to say what it would do to correct any problem, the association’s statement said.

The incident comes as Apple’s share of the mainland smartphone market is shrinking due to fierce competition from local manufacturers such as Huawei Technologies, Xiaomi and Oppo.

Apple’s revenues from greater China fell nearly 30 per cent in the third quarter of this year.

Apple has had hardware quality problems on the mainland before. Soon after its release, some users found the iPhone 6 bent when carried under pressure in a tight pocket. Apple responded by saying such cases were “extremely rare”.