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Apple faces a probe from US authorities over older iPhone performance throttling

Apple is facing yet another investigation into its performance throttling of older iPhones, this time coming from the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The US government organisations will look to determine if Apple had violated securities laws with its disclosures about a software update that resulted in older iPhone being deliberately slowed down to preserve the health of ageing batteries, Bloomberg reports.

Sources familiar with the matter said the investigators are looking into Apple’s public statements on the matter.

The investigators are apparently concerned that Apple may have mislead investors about the performance older iPhones.

A spokeswoman from Apple told Bloomberg that it’s working on responding to the probe: “We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.”

The deliberate slowing down of older iPhone performance was use by Apple to prevent older iPhones with degraded batteries from shutting down when running newer versions of iOS which required the processor to draw more peak power than an older battery can handle in order to keep iOS performance slick.

Despite CEO Tim Cook’s mea culpa on the performance slowdown and Apple offering discounted battery replacements for older iPhones that restore their performance, Apple is still coming under fire from accusations that it has built in obsolescence for its iPhones that prompt people to upgrade to the latest models, like the iPhone X.

When Apple releases iOS 11.3 in the coming months, iPhone users will have the option to shut-off the performance throttling feature, though such an action is not recommended by Tim Cook.

With the latest probe, there is no signs pointing towards what the conclusion will be, but we expect Apple will come under a lot of scrutiny and will likely need to think about its battery management techniques with future iPhones.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S9 release

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