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US Senate committee probes Apple over slowing iPhones

11 January 2018

Mr Thune's letter follows confirmation from French prosecutors that an investigation is being fronted by the finance ministry's fraud control department after Apple admitted slowing down old devices with low-capacity batteries.

The blowback over Apple slowing down iPhones just keeps coming.

"Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions".

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"T$3 he large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency", the letter reads. Planned obsolescence is illegal in France, and if found guilty, Apple faces hefty fines and its employees possible jail terms. Thune's letter is basically asking the same questions that consumers have been leveling at Apple ever since the iPhone slowdown issue arose.

Dozens of law firms in the U.S. have filed suits seeking damages on behalf of iPhone owners, with potential suits brewing in France, Australia, Canada and South Korea.

"First and foremost, 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", Apple said in a statement.

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Thune has requested answers from Apple by 23 January.

When Reddit users and a Geekbench developer discovered and shared that Apple's approach to mitigating the aging of batteries is partly responsible for the gradual performance degradation that iPhone users have sometimes experienced, Apple made an effort to explain its choices.

Thune also asked Apple whether it considered replacing the batteries for free, instead of the current discounted charge of $29 that it began offering in late December after acknowledging how its updates affected older iPhones. He wants to know Apple's decision-making process that resulted in the $29 cost of replacement.

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US Senate committee probes Apple over slowing iPhones