U.S. Commerce Committee Chairman Questions Apple over Slowing down of Older iPhones

Ever since Apple revealed that it slows down older iPhone due to their aging batteries, the company has been subjected to heavy criticism and over two dozen lawsuits and counting. The revelation has also led various government bodies from across the world to investigate Apple’s move. Adding to that list is the U.S. government whose officials have questioned Apple over the issue.

As per WSJ, the chairman of the Commerce Committee, Senator John Thune, has sent a letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook with a series of questions regarding the slowdown of an iPhone due to its aging battery. In the letter, Thune has also asked Apple how it is tracking customer complaints of their iPhone working slower than before, and if it has considered offering a refund to customers who paid full price for replacing the battery on their iPhone before the discounted program was announced by Apple.

The letter also highlights the fact that the discounted battery program has further led customers to criticise Apple for not offering free battery replacement for their older iPhone. Thune has given Apple until January 23 to respond to its letter. Apple is offering a refund to customers who paid full price to replace the battery of their iPhone but it is only valid for those customers who got the battery replaced within the last 30 days prior to its announcement in late December.

The report also provides more details about the investigation that Apple faces in France. The French prosecutor’s preliminary investigation against Apple is surrounding deception and planned obsolescence of its older devices.

Our Take

While Apple may have started a discounted battery replacement program as an apology, it really should not have started slowing down older iPhones in the first place due to their aging batteries. It should have first made this move clear to iPhone owners and perhaps notified them that a battery replacement would help in ensuring that their iPhone runs at its optimum speed. Instead, it decided to slow them down via a software update without providing any kind of information to users whatsoever. Thus, it is not surprising that Apple’s move are now being questioned by government bodies from across the globe.

[Via WSJ]