Apple responds to USgovernment probe into iPhone speed throttling
Apple says it would never degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades
By Todd Haselton and Josh Lipton
Apple on Wednesday responded to reports that the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are probing its decision to throttle older iPhones, confirming that the U.S government has asked questions.
Apple said it would never intentionally “degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” in its statement on Wednesday.
In January, Apple was caught purposefully slowing the speeds of iPhones in an effort to help preserve ageing batteries. In response to consumer backlash, the company dropped the price of battery replacements for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus from US$79 to US$29.
It also said it will issue a software update this spring that provides consumers with a more transparent look at how their iPhones are being throttled and will provide an option to turn off automatic speed updates.
Here’s the full response from Apple:
“About a year ago, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on certain iPhones with older batteries. We know that iPhones have become an important part of the daily lives of our customers and our intention was to improve the customer experience.”
“We sought to further improve the customer experience in December by announcing a significant discount on replacement batteries for certain iPhones. We also announced that we began developing a new iOS feature to show battery health and which would recommend when the user should consider replacing their battery. These actions were taken to further assist our customers and help extend the life of their iPhones. In addition, users will be able to see if the power management feature is being used to prevent unexpected shutdowns, and turn if off if they so choose. These features will be included in a developer release next month and a user release this Spring.”
“As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”
“We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.”
—CNBC’s Josh Lipton contributed to this report.