Tech giant Apple have recently been embroiled in a scandal that has suddenly hit a whole new level.
Apple confirmed at the end of last year it slows down previous iPhone models in order to extend their lifespan by saving battery life which caused controversy.
It was alleged that Apple were attempting to conceal the battery issue rather than offer up a solution such as an easy battery replacement which encouraged people to buy new phones, leading to a series of lawsuits against the Cupertino firm in the billions.
Now, as reported by Bloomberg, the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are now beginning an inquiry into the situation.
The investigation will look into whether Apple violated any securities laws relating to financial disclosures as they are concerned investors were misled about the performance of older models.
The US government itself has asked the company for certain information including any public statements Apple made.
The inquiry is in its early stages so it is too soon to guess what the conclusions will be.
A spokeswoman confirmed Apple indeed had been contacted by government officials, saying:
We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.
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.
A spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as a Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
Apple really haven’t been having the best time recently as they were hit with several lawsuits following the scandal.
The firm is facing eight different lawsuits with one seeking an astonishing $999 billion!
All the lawsuits have been filed in different federal courts over the past month with customers complaining about the company’s lack of transparency and deliberate hindering of their phones’ performance.
Each one seeks what is known as ‘class-action’ meaning all iPhone users affected by this issue are represented by the party filing the complaint.
They particularly focus on the fact that the company failed to provide a free battery replacement for affected phones masking the issue instead by slowing down the devices.
The lawsuits also claim users blamed an ageing computer processor for the poor performance on their old phones choosing to upgrade to a newer model.
Of course the true cause may have been a weak battery which would have been much cheaper to replace than the whole phone.
It is alleged Apple knew all this hence they chose to not reveal the true problem to their customers opting for more money instead of transparency.
Following all this the company issued an apology to customers and said it would cut the price of battery replacement services.
To avoid even more backlash, Apple will now replace the battery of ‘any iPhone 6 or newer model’, even if it passes the diagnostic test determining whether a device can hold ’80 per cent of its original battery capacity after 500 complete charging cycles’.
Still, Apple have many things to worry about.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.