States investigating older iPhones slowing down, shutting off
Arizona is leading a multistate investigation into whether Apple is violating trade practice laws by deliberating slowing older iPhones, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The Tech Transparency Project, a watchdog group, released documents last week showing the Texas attorney general might sue the Cupertino, Calif.-based company over alleged violations stemming from a multistate probe, but did not specify charges, Axios reported.
The probe has been ongoing since at least October 2018 with investigators requesting information from Apple about “unexpected shutdowns” of older phones along with the company’s throttling of iPhones through power management software, the documents obtained via public records showed.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the state attorney general’s office said, “Arizona is at the forefront of data privacy and consumer protection matters involving Big Tech, and while we cannot confirm a specific investigation, we will hold Tech Giants accountable if they purposely deceive or harm their users.”
A representative from Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In 2017 Primate Labs, makers of software for measuring phone’s processor speeds, showed that some iPhones became slower as they age, leading to complaints from Apple users.
Apple later showed it does reduce power demands in older devices, which may result in slowing the processor when an aging phone’s battery struggles to supply the peak current necessitated by the processor. The company said iPhones would have unexpectedly shut down from power spikes without the adjustment.
Soon after the revelation of deteriorating power performance in older iPhone devices, Apple lowered the price for replacement batteries from $79 to $29.
Apple agreed earlier this year to pay up to $500 million to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit involving battery issues.
Updated on July 30 at 1:45 p.m.