Apple’s legal trouble following the company’s secret throttling of iPhones with older batteries won’t come to an end too soon and it expands to new markets, with the US government now starting an investigation of its own to determine whether the company violated laws with this practice.
While the company is being investigated in other markets for planned obsolescence, a report from Bloomberg points out that the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into whether the Cupertino “violated securities laws concerning its disclosures.”
This means that the probe is more focused on the way Apple communicated its power management implementation to users than the actual slowdown of its devices, though it’s not yet clear what sanctions the company risks if found guilty.
On the other hand, the cited source says the investigation is still in its early days and all discussions are private, which means that there’s a chance the probe could be terminated at any point.
Lawsuits across the world
Class-action lawsuits against Apple have also been filed across the world, including one in South Korea where more than 370,000 iPhone users are asking for damages from the company for slowing down their devices.
Apple acknowledged in late December that an iOS update released to iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and SE throttled the CPU performance on units with degraded batteries in an attempt to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
The company launched a battery replacement program with a discounted price to $29 until the end of the year, but even this campaign is hitting some roadblocks due to the big number of requests from users. Most appointments have already been pushed back to March and April because of constrained battery supplies.
Apple has until now remained tight-lipped on every lawsuit and investigation that was started across the world as a result of the iPhone slowdown, but more information will have to be provided to governments that are now looking into any possible violation of local regulations.