Apple’s battery / software update drama continues to escalate

Apple is facing a new investigation from both the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission that looks to determine whether or not the company has violated securities laws with its software updates that slowed down users’ iPhones, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

The news comes as the latest in a string of inquiries into Apple’s software updates. The company is also facing a criminal probe in France (where planned obsolescence is illegal), an investigation from Italy’s antitrust organization, and multiple class action lawsuits. For now, the US government’s investigation is said to be in the early stages, and it’s still unclear if anything will actually come of it.

Late last year, Apple confirmed that iPhones with older batteries were being intentionally slowed down as the devices’ batteries aged in order to prevent further performance issues. Since then, the company has received considerable backlash over the lack of transparency in how this information was revealed to customers. This led to Apple issuing an apology and offering $29 battery replacements for device owners during 2018 as a way to make amends.

Additionally, the next major update to the iPhone’s operating system, iOS 11.3, will include an option for users to opt out of the slowed-down speeds (at the risk of increasing random device reboots) and offer more transparent information about battery health in general on devices.

The Verge